It could cause electrical and communications disruptions. NASA said on its Web site that the blast was not directed toward Earth, however.
Forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said significant solar eruptions are possible in the coming days.
They said there could be disruptions in spacecraft operations, electric power systems, high-frequency communications and low-frequency navigation systems.
NOAA forecasters say the flare, the fourth largest in the last 15 years, has affected some high-frequency communications on the sunlit side of Earth.
Los Angeles, CA -- Scientists are currently tracking a very large flare that occurred on the Sun around 1:40 pm EDT yesterday. The current estimate of the size of the explosion makes it the the fifth largest ever observed.
While the blast was not aimed at Earth, the event created a complete blackout of high frequency communications in North and South America. According to the NOAA Space Environment Center, communications used by emergency services along the Gulf Coast may have experienced problems due to this flare. Low frequency navigation systems may also have experienced a period of significant degradation. Further, they report that agencies impacted by space weather storms may experience disruptions over the next two weeks. These include spacecraft operators, electric power systems, high frequency communications, and low-frequency navigations systems.
Originally posted by dbates
India Daily was on to something in this case. Look at this page from NASA.gov that describes what scientist believe to have been a giant flare. This story from NASA seems to give some credability to indiadaily.com When I saw that date that this occurred on I was blown away. What are the odds of this happening at the same time that the Boxing Day earthquake took place? NASA didn't link this to the earthquake in their article, but I can't help but think that there might be something to this story. If you don't read the whole article, you have to at least see the animation of the event. Very cool.
nasa.gov - Cosmic Explosion Among the Brightest in Recorded History
Scientists have detected a flash of light from across the Galaxy so powerful that it bounced off the Moon and lit up the Earth's upper atmosphere. The flash was brighter than anything ever detected from beyond our Solar System and lasted over a tenth of a second. NASA and European satellites and many radio telescopes detected the flash and its aftermath on December 27, 2004.
Such a close and powerful eruption raises the question of whether an even larger influx of gamma rays, disturbing the atmosphere, was responsible for one of the mass extinctions known to have occurred on Earth hundreds of millions of years ago. "The next biggest flare ever seen from any soft gamma repeater was peanuts compared to this incredible December 27 event," said Gaensler. "Had this happened within 10 light years of us, it would have severely damaged our atmosphere."
Those who could watch South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) news at 7pm could see the broadcaster's atrium, behind the newsreader, was in darkness due to the power cut. The SABC is located in Auckland Park.
Johannesburg City Power spokesperson Sol Masolo was not immediately available for comment.
A call to the City Power help line was met with a recorded message saying large parts of the city and surrounding areas were blacked out due to the failure of two substations.
The voice said technicians were working on the problem and power would be restored "soon".
City Power told the SABC that two sub-stations experiencing electrical faults were the cause of the power failure.
The outage followed another last week that blacked out Rosebank, Houghton and surrounding areas.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS links between Namibia and South Africa were disrupted by a cable fault in South Africa's North West Province yesterday morning.
Telephone and Internet services were down from 08h00 until lunchtime, disrupting business in many sectors of the Namibian economy.
South Africa's Telkom utility said the cable break occurred in the North West Province between Wolmaransstad and Kingswood
THOUSANDS of pounds worth of business was lost in Crouch End on Sunday after 1,400 shops and homes were plunged into a power blackout.
Electricity shut down in the area at 9.33am and was not restored completely until after 5pm.
Energy bosses have blamed the blackout on a fault in a major underground cable.
John Krahn, manager of the Haelan Centre, described the loss of trade as a "killer".
24 August 2005
MIPAS interruption 30 August-19 September 2005:The MIPAS operation will be interrupted starting on 30 August, 14:14 UTC, for a 20-day period in order to allow the system to recover from a series of Interferometer Drive Unit anomalies. It is planned that the system will resume operational on 19 September, 02:00 UTC, in time for special requests from the science community. All measurements planned for the interruption period will be re-scheduled.
(Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding)
The Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding (MIPAS) is a Fourier transform spectrometer for the measurement of high-resolution gaseous emission spectra at the Earth's limb. It operates in the near to mid infrared where many of the atmospheric trace-gases playing a major role in atmospheric chemistry have important emission features.
The objectives of MIPAS are:
* Simultaneous and global measurements of geophysical parameters in the middle atmosphere;
* Stratospheric chemistry: O3, H2O, CH4, N2O, and HNO3; and Climatology:
* Temperature, CH4, N2O, O3 ;
* Study of chemical composition, dynamics, and radiation budget of the middle atmosphere;
* Monitoring of stratospheric O3 and CFC's.