Earth is being bombarded by a fierce solar storm that’s blasting out of a HUGE hole in the sun
Christmas solar storm to batter Earth as flare blasts from massive hole in the sun
SPACE WEATHER WARNING: A solar flare is heading our way and it’s threatening to wreak havoc with modern life on our planet
22nd December 2016, 12:51 pm
EARTH is being blasted by a flare soaring from a hole in the sun’s atmosphere – and it’s bringing huge geomagnetic storms with it.
SPACE agency footage filmed by Solar Dynamics Observatory shows a bright, strobe-like flash on the right of the SunAnd it’s whipped up a “moderately” strong geomagnetic storm that could last for several days, according to the US’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Geomagnetic storms are behind the awe-inspiring natural phenomenon the Northern Lights.
But they can prove devastating to human civilisation as we know it, experts have warned.
Solar stormA massive flare explodes out of the sun in an incredible NASA pictureGetty Images Cosmic rays are the same phenomenon that cause the Northern Lights (pictured)They wreak havoc on navigation systems and cause entire national power grids to grind to a halt.
US president Barack Obama was forced to issue a chilling warning to the nation in preparation for devastating space weather storms earlier this year.
He said: “Extreme space weather events – those that could significantly degrade critical infrastructure – could disable large portions of the electrical power grid, resulting in cascading failures that would affect key services such as water supply, healthcare, and transportation.
“Space weather has the potential to simultaneously affect and disrupt health and safety across entire continents.”
In this case, the space weather prediction centre has warned that “minor fluctuations” may occur in several US state’s power supplies.
Today’s storm is “broad” and Earth is expected to remain inside it for several days.
It’s good news for Aurora watchers, as the long nights mean more time to watch the incredible plumes of colour across the northern hemisphere.