The sun is to hit Earth with radiation from the biggest solar storm since 2005 with more to come from the fast-moving eruption. There’s a solar Coronal Mass Ejection travelling towards us at 1,400 miles per second. It will hit Earth around 9am Eastern Time, causing fluctuations on the power grid and disruptions to the Global Positioning System.

The solar flare occurred at about 11 p.m. EST Sunday and will hit Earth with three different effects at three different times. The biggest issue is radiation, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center in Colorado.

The radiation is mostly a concern for satellite disruptions and astronauts in space. It can cause communication problems for polar-traveling airplanes, said space weather center physicist Doug Biesecker.

Radiation from Sunday’s flare arrived at Earth an hour later and will likely continue through Wednesday. Levels are considered strong but other storms have been more severe. There are two higher levels of radiation on NOAA’s storm scale severe and extreme Biesecker said. Still, this storm is the strongest for radiation since May 2005.

There’s something else, a strong proton storm ranking S3 on a 5-level scalewhich is in full rage now and gradually increasing. While CMEs are normal about 2,000 every 11-year solar cycleproton storms are very rare. Only a couple of dozen happen per solar cycle. And this one can be dangerous.

“The whole volume of space between here and Jupiter is just filled with protons and you just don’t get rid of them like that,” Biesecker said. That’s why the effects will stick around for a couple days.

First comes electromagnetic radiation, followed by radiation in the form of protons.

Then, finally the coronal mass ejection that’s the plasma from the sun itself hits. Usually that travels at about 1 or 2 million miles per hour, but this storm is particularly speedy and is shooting out at 4 million miles per hour, Biesecker said.

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