Solar flares bombard Earth’s magnetic field

by Jeff Hargarten

Scientists report few problems following a bombardment of the Earth's magnetic field by powerful solar flares, the Associated Press reported.

Solar storms can sometimes create electronic interference, but the storm started fizzling out Thursday. The storm increased in strength Friday morning, but hasn't reached the power some had predicted. The strongest solar storm on record dates back to 1859, with another significant one in 2006. In 1989, a solar storm knocked out the power for 6 million people in Quebec.

The storms can affect technology on Earth in three ways: through magnetic, radioactive or radio emissions. The radiation can sometimes endanger flights. They usually begin within sun spots and solar bursts that take a few days to reach the planet. 

Solar storms often create spectular displays of Norther Lights.