Solar storms continue to pummel Earth
Posted: November 3, 2003

The series of solar storms that have pummeled Earth continues as forecasters at the NOAA Space Environment Center in Boulder, Colo., observed three more explosions on the sun during the past 24 hours.

The largest flare produced a coronal mass ejection, CME, that could strike Earth's magnetic field by midday Monday. Forecasters are predicting a strong to severe (G-3 to G-4) storm for Monday and Tuesday, as measured by the NOAA space weather scales that run 1 to 5.

This storming will provide another chance for those in the northern tier of the U.S. to see the northern lights or Aurora Borealis.

Strong solar radiation and radio blackout storms were in progress on Sunday as a result of the large eruptions. NOAA sun spot regions 486 and 488, which produced these flares, are gradually moving to the western part of the sun and should be rotating out of sight in the next day or so. This might provide Earth with a break from the severe space storms it has experienced over the last 10 days. However, these regions could return to the front side of the sun in several weeks as they rotate back into view.

In the 11-year solar cycle, The Earth is currently about three years past solar maximum. Solar maximum is the time when the sun is most active. Right now the sun is in its solar minimum phase.

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