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The Extinction Protocol

March 7, 2012SPACEMajor Solar Flare: Big sunspot AR1429 has unleashed another major flare. This one is the strongest yet, an X5-class eruption on March 7th at 00:28 UT. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the extreme UV flash: This eruption hurled a bright CME into space, shown here in a movie from the Solar Dynamics Observatory. Although the CME is not squarely Earth-directed, it appears direct enough to deliver a glancing blow to our planet’s magnetic field on March 8-9. This would add to the magnetic unrest already underway at high latitudes. The flare also accelerated energetic protons toward Earth, triggering an S3-class solar radiation storm, in progress. Such a storm is mainly a nuisance to satellites, causing occasional reboots of onboard computers and adding noise to imaging systems. –Space Weather
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