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After 5 years of quiet, sun gets a bit stormy

After 5 years of quiet, sun gets a bit stormy

Scientists say a solar flare the evening of Feb. 14 is causing radio disruptions and may put on a cool sky show Thursday and Friday nights in some northern regions. But they say the solar storm zapping Earth is not that big or troublesome.
Bob Rutledge, who is lead forecaster for the U.S. government's Space Weather Prediction Center, said the solar X-ray flare is the largest of its type since December 2006. But that's mostly because the sun's been unusually quiet for nearly five years.
This solar storm rates an R-3 on a five point scale. It's on the weak end of what's considered strong, but still there are about 175 of those every decade or so. Rutledge said some commercial airliners have reported radio disruptions, but no harm.
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Online:
http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/