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Shockwave solar flare may hit Earth today: Possible blackouts in communications

Friday brings strong solar flare shockwave to Earth, hold on to your hats!
Friday brings strong solar flare shockwave to Earth, hold on to your hats!
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Solar flares could disrupt communication on Earth today, according to the scientists from NASA. One of these flares could actually come into contact with Earth on Friday, June 13 and create what is called a "coronal mass ejection," reports ABC News.

A huge cloud of plasma could hit the Earth today, this plasma cloud is called a coronal mass ejection. This solar flare shockwave could cause a minor geo-magnetic storm, predicts NOAA.

OK, so what does this all mean? The Huffington Post reports that earlier in the week powerful X-class solar flares erupted from the sun and they are making their way toward Earth. The X2.2 flare and an X1.5 flare happened on the June 10. Again on June 11, another flare, this time it was an X1.0 in strength.

The strongest class for solar flares are measured in severity of strength by using a system that goes from X1. to X10, with X1 being the weakest and X10 being the strongest. These solar flares will sometimes produced coronal mass ejections which are a cloud of charged particles. It is this cloud that may play havoc with communication systems when it hits Earth.

When an solar flare of this size erupts from the sun, it takes about three days to reach the Earth. On Tuesday and Wednesday this week these shockwaves caused scattered outages, or communication blackouts. Scientist expect one of these powerful solar flares to hit the Earth today, Friday, June 13.

Scientist expect a "glancing blow" to Earth from this solar flare event today. If it sparks a minor geomagnetic storm, it could further disrupt communications today. In February the largest flare of the year occurred so far and that was measured as an X4.9.

Scientist first thought that the sun's period of peak activity would occur in 2013, but it was weaker than first thought last year. This year it has started off with a vengeance of strength, so now scientist believe that this is actually the start of the sun entering into its active stage of its 11-year weather cycle.

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