A strong solar storm hit the Earth’s atmosphere this Thursday morning, March 8th. The radioactive particles that were launched from the sun are currently battling our planet’s electromagnetic field and don’t appear to be causing any major problems. However, NASA warns that this solar outburst will last until about Friday morning and that at any time, power grids or GPS service might be temporarily compromised.
Even though this is one of the stronger solar storms we’ve weathered in the last five years, scientists predict that there won’t be any serious repercussions — besides a slim chance of a very short disruption of the power grid and maybe, to GPS services. But it shouldn’t cause any long-term damage to the systems.
As a provider of GPS tracking gear, we don’t believe that the solar storm will pose a threat to our service. On the slim chance that it does cause minor interference, any problems you experience shouldn’t last long and will be completely back to normal as the storm passes.
Scientists are also predicting that we are entering a period of more frequent and powerful solar activity, and that we can expect more solar flares to hit our atmosphere through 2013. The storm’s particles are not harmful to humans. However, they can disrupt technology and cause temporary blackouts of certain electricity-dependent systems.
The flares have already caused some minor disruptions. For example, blackouts of high-frequency radio frequencies used by aircraft flying over the North and South Poles have been reported. We’ll know by Friday 3/9 if any other systems are affected.