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Solar storms pummel Earth
Posted: Mon, Sep 12, 2005, 7:26 AM ET (1126 GMT)
Solar flare of Sept. 9 2005 (NOAA) A series of powerful solar storms has affected radio communications on Earth, with the potential of more such activity. A class X17.1 solar flare Wednesday created a blackout of high-frequency radio communications on the entire sunlit side of the Earth, disrupting a variety of communications, including those used by relief teams responding to Hurricane Katrina. That flare was the fourth largest in the last 15 years, according to NOAA. The flare was linked to an active sunspot region on the limb of the Sun just rotating into view from the Earth, so the bulk of the flare's energy was not directed towards the Earth. The sunspot region is expected to generate additional flares over the next several days that could affect the Earth.
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