Geomagnetic and solar radiation storms hitting Earth after Tuesday's solar flares may not be as big as advertised, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday.
Together, such storms can affect GPS systems, other satellite systems and power grids, but none of these problems has been reported, even as the leading edge of the sun's coronal mass ejections from Tuesday hit Earth on Thursday morning, scientists said.
The geomagnetic storm has reached only G1 intensity on a scale from G1 (weak) to G5 (extreme), and the solar radiation storm is an S3 (strong) on a similar 1-to-5 scale, NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center said. Earlier, NOAA had predicted a G3/S4 event.
Still, the solar radiation storm has prompted some airlines to divert planes from routes near the north pole, where radio communications may be affected and passengers at high altitudes may be at a higher than normal radiation risk.FULL STORY