Nasa scientists braced for 'solar tsunami' to hit earth
The earth could be hit by a wave of violent space weather as early as Tuesday after a massive explosion on the sun,scientists have warned
The solar fireworks at the weekend were recorded by several satellites, including Nasa’s new Solar Dynamics Observatory which watched its shock wave rippling outwards.Astronomers from all over the world witnessed the huge flare above a giant sunspot the size of the Earth, which they linked to an even larger eruption across the surface of Sun.
The explosion, called acoronal mass ejection, was aimed directly towards Earth, which then sent a “solar tsunami” racing 93 million miles across space.
Images from the SDO hint at a shock wave travelling from the flare intospace, the New Scientist reported.
Experts said the wave of supercharged gas will likely reach the Earth on Tuesday, when it will buffet the natural magnetic shield protecting Earth.
It is likely tospark spectacular displays of the aurora or northern and southern lights.
"This eruption is directed right at us," said Leon Golub, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA).
"It's thefirst major Earth-directed eruption in quite some time."
Scientists have warned that a really big solar eruption could destroy satellites and wreck power and communications grids around the globe ifit happened today.
Nasa recently warned that Britain could face widespread power blackouts and be left without critical communication signals for long periods of time, after the earth is hit by aonce-in-a-generation “space storm”.
The Daily Telegraph disclosed in June that senior space agency scientists believed the Earth will be hit with unprecedented levels of magnetic energy from solar flaresafter the Sun wakes “from a deep slumber” sometime around 2013.
It remains unclear, however, how much damage this latest eruption will cause the world’s communication tools.
Dr Lucie Green, of...