Solar Flares Head for Earth

By: Natalie Shepherd
By: Natalie Shepherd

Giant solar flares are causing a great show for Mid-Michigan sky-gazers, but the flares could also cause some communication problems. Solar flares are explosions of light and particles on the sun's surface. There are currently two large sun spots the size of the planet Jupiter on the sun. And experts say the spots are causing unusually large solar flares.

The explosions send particles into space, and some particles are headed for Earth. Some have already hit and others will hit Saturday. When the solar flares meet the Earth's atmosphere, they effect the magnetic field. The interference can cause problems with cell phone reception, radio reception and sometimes even power-outages. Experts say satellites are also effected by the solar flares.

It is unlikely these solar flares, even though they are large, will cause knock any power out. But experts say the view of the Northern Lights will be very good this weekend. Friday may be a little cloudy, but the display should be visible Saturday and Sunday.


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