The largest solar flare since 1989 erupted on the surface of the sun Friday. The flare was followed by a coronal mass ejection which blasted millions of tons of electrically charged particles and magnetic energy into space. This material is moving toward earth at a speed of three million miles an hour. The blast is expected to trigger strong to severe geomagnetic disturbances this weekend. It is expected that power grids, navigation systems, pipelines, shortwave communications and satellite operations around the world will be affected. Displays of northen lights should be visible around midnight across the entire United States, and dramatically visible in Canada and Europe.

Space weather experts are describing the storm as the equivalent of a Category 4 Hurricane. “I think it’s probably the second-largest storm in the past 20 years, acoording to Bill Murtaugh at the Space Environment Center in Boulder.

For the latest information, go to {http://www.spaceweather.com.

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