BUSIEST SUNSPOT CYCLE IN YEARS
THREATENS TO DISRUPT EARTH COMMUNICATIONS AND POWER
An unusual solar flare observed by a NASA space observatory on Tuesday could cause some disruptions to satellite communications and power on Earth over the next day or so, officials said.
The potent blast from the Sun unleashed a firestorm of radiation on a level not witnessed since 2006, and will probably lead to moderate geomagnetic storm activity by Wednesday, according to the U.S. National Weather Service.
NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured the spectacular event, a combination of a solar flare, a coronal mass ejection (CME) and a minor radiation storm.
'This one was rather dramatic,' said Bill Murtagh, programme co-ordinator at the NWS's Space Weather Prediction Centre, describing the M-2 (medium-sized) solar flare that peaked at 1:41 am Eastern time in the United States, or 0541 GMT on Monday.
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