We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

Video: Massive solar flare might affect Earth

The sun erupted with the second largest solar flare in a year, expelling coronal mass ejections that are traveling to the earth at more than 600 miles a second.

The ejections are so forceful that they seem to create a ripple effect stretching across the surface of the sun.

These waves move at over one million miles per hour meaning they can reach from one side of the sun to the other in just about an hour.

So what does this mean for us?

For one, the northern lights also known as aurora borealis will be especially bright. In the US, people as far south as the Great Lakes region might be able to see the light show.

For others it could be disruption in GPS and other satellite signals and interference with high frequency radio communication. The activity is especially high at the poles and some transcontinental flights may need to be rerouted. As for climate, the flares have very little to no impact on the Earth’s temperature. The increase in solar flares is normal for the sun. It's part of its 11 year solar cycle, which will peak in late 2013.

IDG UK Sites

Samsung Galaxy S6 review: Hands-on with the new Samsung Galaxy. Samsung's flagship is more iPhone-lr......

IDG UK Sites

5 things we hate about MWC: What it's like to be a journalist at a technology trade show

IDG UK Sites

Ractive powers The Guardian's interactive infographics – and lets novice coders build complex...

IDG UK Sites

What does that mean? A jargon-buster dictionary of tech terms for Apple fans