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Major Solar Flare Erupts, Radiation Storm in Progress

NOAA has issued a space weather advisory in response to an X-1 class solar flare that took place at 8:20AM PST. A G2 class magnetic storm is expected to reach earth around 6:00PM PST on Monday. A magnetic storm of this magnitude has the capacity to cause can lead to minor problems with electrical power systems, spacecraft operations, communications systems, and some navigational systems.

The flare was followed by a strong solar radiation storm whichhas reached the S3 level on the NOAA scale and is continuing on Sunday evening.

There are widespread high-frequency radio blackouts taking place on the dayside of the earth, and low-frequency navigation systems are being affected.

S3 solar radiation storms can lead to problems with spacecraft electronics, noise in spacecraft imaging systems, and reduction in the efficiency of solar panels. Radiation storms also cause reduced high-frequency radio propagation in the polar regions.

Solar activity has continued at an unprecedented high level despite the fact that the current solar maximum climaxed in mid-February with the predicted reversal of the sun's magnetic field.

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