There's not really anything to fear from the solar eruptions that are now taking place off the surface of our closest star otherwise known as The Sun, but a radiation storm literally hurling itself at the earth and millions of miles per hour does sound sinister, doesn't it? It'll be January 24th, tomorrow, when we find out the full effects of the largest radiation storm since 2005. The effects are coming from what NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory caught in their sights at 0359 GMT January 23: an extreme ultraviolet flash from a huge eruption on the sun.
What will be hitting the earth is a collection of charged particles that'll be smashing in at right about 9AM EST, this according to the Space Weather Prediction Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. NOAA notes that this event will have polar flights here on Earth re-routed in plenty of time to avoid any mishaps. The worst that could happen and has happened in the past is satellite disruption (in orbit) and widespread communications interference. As officials at SpaceWeather.com noted in an alert:
There is little doubt that the cloud is heading in the general direction of Earth. A preliminary inspection of SOHO/STEREO imagery suggests that the CME will deliver a strong glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field on Jan. 24-25 as it sails mostly north of our planet." - Space Weather
NASA spokesman Kelly Humphries also spoke directly to Space.com on the astronauts currently aboard the International Space Station:
"The flight surgeons have reviewed the space weather forecasts for the flare and determined that there are no expected adverse effects or actions required to protect the on-orbit crew." - Humphries
Folks anywhere near a place they'll be able to see the Northern Lights are asked to take some awesome photos and let the whole world see how cool the sun can be when it has the intergalactic equivalent of a bad bellyache.