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News Link • Solar Flares

Two Monster Solar Eruptions Are Just A Taste Of More Damaging Explosions To Come

•, Dina Spector
 Solar eruptions send a massive cloud of high speed particles, called a coronal mass ejection, either into space or toward Earth.

When this wave of charged particles collides with our planet, it can set up a beautiful display of the Aurora Borealis, and at the same time, when they are strong enough, can cause damage by disrupting satellite networks and knocking out power grids.

Although the most recent blast of super-hot plasma was not headed toward Earth, it's part of an increase in solar activity, which has to do with the Sun nearing its next Solar maximum in 2013.

When the solar maximum arrives, marking the peak of the 11-year solar cycle, we can expect "more coronal mass ejections, more geomagnetic storms and more auroras than we have experienced in quite some time," says NASA.

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