NASA has announced that it will award the Distinguished Public Service Medal, its highest honor, to astronomer Yervant Terzian, the Tisch Distinguished Professor Emeritus. Professor…
On December 26 a massive eruption of solar plasma was registered. The process is also called coronal mass ejection (CME) – massive clouds of plasma that are moving streaking through space in any direction at several million mph. Later on the same day, moving plasma particles from the recent solar eruption entered Earth’s magnetic field. The particles from another CME could deliver a glancing blow to our planet on December 28 and both of these processed may result in minor and/or moderate geomagnetic storms at high latitudes on December 28 and 29. In their turn, geomagnetic storms may trigger dramatic aurora displays, known as northern and southern lights and cause super-charged northern lights displays and temporary radio blackouts in some areas.
If the geomagnetic storms will be powerful enough, they might temporarily disrupt GPS signals, radio communications and power grids. After the relative quietness from 2005 through 2010, the sun has become active again in 2011 by ejecting numerous powerful flares and CMEs. The CME in August 2011 appeared to be the strongest one in last 4 years. According to scientists, solar activity will increase in the coming couple of years and will reach its peak in 2013.