NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory said two sun storms/coronal mass ejections (CMEs) occurred within 24 hours earlier this week. The results of those storms started showering the Earth on 12/28. This event, like all similar solar events, has the capability of interfering with both communication equipment and power grids. The storms may give Earth a glancing blow, and may create a geomagnetic storm in the atmosphere. If large enough, they could interfere with radio, cell phone and GPS communications.
The geomagnetic storms will also help push the aurora further south, exposing the northern lights to people who may not normally get to see it. The recent CMEs are part of growing number of sun storms as the sun enters a more active phase. Solar activity seems to run on 11-year cycles and scientists believe that this current cycle will peak in 2013, so expect more communication issues, and amazing light shows, over the next two years. The sun had a low rate of activity between 2005 and 2010, but has had several eruptions, powerful flares and CMEs this year.
The intense solar activity may affect Earth through 12/31. NOAA estimated that there was a 20-40 percent chance of these disruptive polar geomagnetic storms on Dec. 28-29 in response to the impact of one or more CMEs.