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.