Two X-Class Flares Could Bring Auroras, Dropped Calls, Even Worse Netflix Streaming

by on March 7, 2012

NASA is very excited about catching glimpses of two X-class solar flares: “Active Region 1429 has been shooting off flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs) since it rotated into Earth’s view on March 2, 2012. Two X-class flare have been released overnight, an X1.3 and an X5.4.” The X5.4 is the second largest flare since 2007, following an X6.9 on August 9, 2011.

The Washington Post answers the question of “Why should I, the reader, care? What does the sun have to do with my life?”:

After hurtling through space for a day and a half, a massive cloud of charged particles is due to arrive early Thursday and could disrupt utility grids, airline flights, satellite networks and GPS services, especially in northern areas.

Alaska is set for “extreme auroras,” but depending on how the clouds come and go above Seattle, we might be able to see the glow as well. The show is supposed to begin around 10:30 p.m. PST tonight, and Thursday evening should offer another chance, too. Meteorologist Cliff Mass is pessimistic: “skies around here are no longer clear…we are getting considerable high clouds coming around the offshore ridge.” We actually just got an auroral show–if you missed it, KOMO 4 TV has got your back.

Now for the horrifying part: Will this really impact Netflix during prime late-night streaming hours? The storm could affect satellites, we know that. And really, what doesn’t impact Netflix? They are really the worst, aren’t they? My advice is simply to be ready with emergency DVD back-up. Be prudent.

Filed under News, NEWS_FEATURED, Science

2 thoughts on “Two X-Class Flares Could Bring Auroras, Dropped Calls, Even Worse Netflix Streaming

  1. How is Netflix “the worst”? I’ve never found their streaming to by anything less than reliable.

    Although, if the stupid sun screws it up tonight….. I’ll have some strong words for it….

    (first world problems!)

    • Zac, you are the luckiest person on the planet (first world ratings!). :) I have regular problems streaming Netflix during prime time. Now that may be a problem with CenturyLink DSL, but “Netflix slow streaming” does yield 2.5 million results on the Google. This is a problem Netflix seems aware of, since they usually send me a “How was the movie?” email after a particularly terrible streaming session.

      Now that I’ve made a big deal out of it, though, the stupid sun didn’t really do much of anything at all. Another false alarm!