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Earth dodges geomagnetic storm: scientist

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AFP
Feb 18, 2011

WASHINGTON – A wave of charged plasma particles from a huge solar eruption has glanced off the Earth’s northern pole, lighting up auroras and disrupting some radio communications, a NASA scientist said.

But the Earth appears to have escaped a widespread geomagnetic storm, with the effects confined to the northern latitudes, possibly reaching down into Norway and Canada.

“There can be sporadic outages based on particular small-scale events,” said Dean Persnell, project scientist at NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory at Goddard Space Flight Center.

He told AFP the official forecast is “for generally quiet conditions today, perhaps some minor storming tomorrow, but nothing extraordinary.”

The event began Tuesday at 0156 GMT with a spectacular solar eruption in a sunspot the size of Jupiter that produced a Class X flash — the most powerful of all solar events.

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This article was posted: Friday, February 18, 2011 at 5:27 am





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