M2 Class Solar Flare, Thursday January 19th
On Thursday, January 19th 2012 a massive solar flare was recorded my NASA that released a huge plasma wave that will probably intensify the northern lights for those fortunate enough to view them.
The massive solar flare may be strong enough to disrupt cellular phone service, along with satellite television service.
The Space Weather Prediction Center which is maintained by NOAA, has stated that Thursday’s massive solar flare erupted from an active sunspot group called Region 1401, along with another Region called 1402 which erupted another flare.
The Thursday flare rated as a powerful M2-Class sun storm, based upon a scale used by astronomers. M-class solar flares are not apocalyptic in nature, unlike the super powerful X-rated solar flares that could cause widespread destruction on the Earth.
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The Solar Flare on Thursday is minor compared to the solar flare that hit Earth in 1859, when the Aurora lights were so bright that there were reports of being able to read newspapers in the middle of the night just from the light of the auroras caused by the massive solar flare. The solar flare of 1859, also called the Carrington Super Flare caused telegraph systems to fail all across Europe and North America. There were reports of telegraph machines that continued to send and receive messages even though they were disconnected from their power supplies.
If the modern world, which is so reliant on technology that is run on electrical circuitry were to be hit by such a large solar flare as the Carrington, it would be devastating.
Some scientists have stated that 2012 will have a heightened chance of major solar flare activity. At one extreme, a January 2009 report by the National Academy of Sciences funded by NASA warned that solar flares during the solar maximum could cause up to $2 trillion (or more) in damage in the U.S., with millions of potential deaths.