According to Nasa scientists a recent spate of furious eruptions on the surface of the sun hurled a huge amount of heat toward Earth.
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This is the biggest dose our planet has received from our closest star in seven years. Although the influx of solar energy puffed up the atmosphere, increasing drag on low-orbiting satellites, it caused fewer disruptions to electronic infrastructure such as electronic grids than some expected. It also offered plenty of eye candy, sparking dazzling auroras in many places. As said Martin Mlynczak of NASA Langley Research Center it was a big event, and shows how solar activity can directly affect our planet. The solar eruptions began on March 6, and on March 8 a coronal mass ejection (CME), a wave of charged particles, smashed into Earth’s magnetic field. For the next three days, the upper atmosphere, known as the thermosphere, absorbed 26 billion kilowatt-hours of energy. Infrared radiation from carbon dioxide and nitric oxide, the two most efficient coolants in the thermosphere, radiated 95 percent of that total back into space. Scientists work with SABER, an instrument aboard a NASA satellite. The instrument monitors infrared emissions from Earth’s upper atmosphere, particularly from carbon dioxide and nitric oxide. Both compounds play a key role in the energy balance hundreds of miles above our planet’s surface. So although the early March solar storm is ended, but as siad scientists we’re just emerging from a deep solar minimum. The solar cycle is gaining strength with a maximum expected in 2013.