Earth escapes huge geomagnetic storm, says NASA scientist

The Earth appears to have dodged a widespread geomagnetic storm, Dean Persnell, a scientist from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), said in an AFP report published yesterday.

The news comes after a huge solar eruption on Tuesday that sent a wave of charged plasma particles called a coronal mass ejection (CME) at about 900 kilometers per second toward Earth. The wave glanced off the North Pole, reports the AFP.

According to the report, if the CME directly hit Earth, it could have "(triggered) a huge geomagnetic storm... (blacked) out radio communications, (interfered) with GPS navigational systems (and) in theory even (caused) power outages." In China, "sudden ionospheric disturbances" and "jammed shortwave radio communications" were reported.

Persnell said in the AFP report, "It appears (the CME) will curve around and not hit us. (Satellite data) shows that the CME is quieting down so there is not a whole lot left to it. It’s moved well behind us by now."

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