A solar flare accompanied by a fast-moving Earth-directed coronal mass ejection is expected to reach the magnetic envelope surrounding Earth as early as Tuesday morning. It is the strongest solar storm since September 2005, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, but it is no cause for concern to ordinary people going about their day to day activities.
The solar storm poses no danger to people but it could disrupt high precision GPS equipment and radio communications in the polar regions, prompting a solar storm warning from the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center.
NOAA says the sun erupted late Sunday night, around 11 p.m., with an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection and a burst of fast-moving, highly energetic protons known as a solar energetic particle event. The coronal mass ejection is traveling at 1,400 miles per second and is expected to reach Earth’s magnetosphere as early as 9 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.
NOAA has received reports that at least some airline flights over the north pole have been rerouted and that some other flights at high latitudes are flying at lower altitudes, according to NOAA’s Facebook page.