Biggest solar flare of the year knocks out radio transmissions

NASA on alert for more after-effects of geomagnetic storm to satellites and spacecraft.

Massive solar flare captured as it erupts at 3:16 p.m. EDT on April 11, 2013. NASA/SDO
Early this morning the sun erupted, sending billions of solar particles into space at over 600 miles per second, raising the prospect of solar radiation storms above the Earth, according to NASA. A spokesman said the resulting emissions sparked a short-lived radio communications blackout on Earth. The radio disruption has since subsided. The appearance of the strongest solar storm of 2013 is part of an increasingly common sight as astronomers say this is connected to the sun's 11-year activity cycle. More intense solar eruptions are expected later in the year.

About the author

Charles Cooper is an executive editor at CNET News. He has covered technology and business for more than 25 years, working at CBSNews.com, the Associated Press, Computer & Software News, Computer Shopper, PC Week, and ZDNet. E-mail Charlie.

 

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