Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Strong solar storm hitting Earth

The sun is bombarding Earth with radiation from the biggest solar storm in more than six years with more to come from the fast-moving eruption.

The solar flare occurred about 11 p.m. EST Sunday and will hit Earth with three different effects. The biggest issue is radiation, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Weather Prediction Center in Colorado.

The radiation is mostly a concern for satellite disruptions. It can cause communication problems for polar-traveling airplanes, said space weather center physicist Doug Biesecker.

Radiation from Sunday's flare arrived at Earth an hour later and will likely continue through Wednesday. Levels are considered strong but other storms have been more severe. This storm is the strongest for radiation since May 2005.

The radiation — in the form of protons — came flying out of the sun at 93 million mph.

A solar eruption is followed by a one-two-three punch, said Antti Pulkkinen, a physicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland and Catholic University. First comes electromagnetic radiation, followed by radiation in the form of protons. Then, the coronal mass ejection — that's the plasma from the sun itself — hits. Usually that travels at about 1 or 2 million miles per hour, but this storm is particularly speedy and is shooting out at 4 million miles per hour, Biesecker said.

It's the plasma that causes much of the noticeable problems on Earth, such as electrical grid outages. In 1989, a solar storm caused a massive blackout in Quebec. It can also pull the northern lights further south.

But this coronal mass ejection seems likely to be only moderate, with a chance for becoming strong, Biesecker said. The worst of it is likely to go north of Earth.

Comments
Parkland survivor David Hogg on conspiracy theories: ‘It’s sad’

Parkland survivor David Hogg on conspiracy theories: ‘It’s sad’

In the immediate aftermath of the Parkland school shooting, survivor David Hogg burst onto the national scene as an outspoken student advocate for change.He became a fixture on television news programs, calling out lawmakers ...
Updated: 6 minutes ago
With Souza the latest to be gone, what do Rays have left? Well …

With Souza the latest to be gone, what do Rays have left? Well …

The first question to ask, understandably, is who do the Rays have left?And, after they Tuesday added 2017 team MVP Steven Souza Jr. to the list of departees that had just included Corey Dickerson and Jake Odorizzi, the next to ask is what do they ha...
Updated: 1 hour ago

3 juveniles arrested following school threats in Florida

Police have arrested three people for making separate threats against schools in Florida's Panhandle, leading to four campuses being locked down
Updated: 1 hour ago
Forecast: No end in sight to Tampa Bay’s record-setting heat

Forecast: No end in sight to Tampa Bay’s record-setting heat

A high-pressure system covering central Florida is maintaining record-setting warm temperatures and dry weather across the Tampa Bay, and there is no end in sight.Record highs in the upper 80s were set Tuesday in Sarasota, Tampa Bay and Clearwater. I...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bucs release Doug Martin and Chris Baker, two of their most disappointing players in 2017

Bucs release Doug Martin and Chris Baker, two of their most disappointing players in 2017

TAMPA – Early in his rookie year, Doug Martin was told he was losing his balance because he was dropping his head as he hit the hole in a game at Oakland.He quickly corrected that mistake and wound up rushing for a career-high 251 yards against...
Updated: 1 hour ago
‘Our message is very simple. Never again.’ Douglas High students march on Florida Capitol

‘Our message is very simple. Never again.’ Douglas High students march on Florida Capitol

They arrived in the damp mist of a North Florida evening, bedded down for the night on a civic center floor and awoke this morning prepared to deliver a message for their generation to the state's most powerful politicians."Our message is very simple...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Stakes high as USF women host Houston

Stakes high as USF women host Houston

If your alma mater or college of choice has bona fide NCAA Tournament aspirations, the final days of February possess pennant race-style tension.So it is with the 18th-ranked USF women, whose 7 p.m. home game tonight against Houston has big bracketol...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Florida education news: School security, HB 7055, special education and more

Florida education news: School security, HB 7055, special education and more

SCHOOL SECURITY: Making schools safer from gunmen and other attackers took center stage in the Florida Capitol on Tuesday. Sheriffs called for more school resource officers and better background checks before gun purchases. The House refuse...
Updated: 2 hours ago
How they voted: Roll call on assault weapons ban

How they voted: Roll call on assault weapons ban

Republicans in the Florida House rejected a motion by Democrats Tuesday to debate legislation to prevent the sale and possession of semi-automatic rifles and extended magazines in Florida.The vote was 71 to 36, with 10 lawmakers not voting. Three sea...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Governor Scott: ‘My goal is to move the needle’

Governor Scott: ‘My goal is to move the needle’

Gov. Rick Scott on Friday will propose a detailed response to last week's mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland.Scott met for 90 minutes Tuesday evening with experts in law enforcement, education and mental health, and was flanke...
Updated: 2 hours ago