False warnings about solar storms have gone viral. Here’s what the flares actually do to Earth.


While alarming, the story was false. NASA reported a large solar flare July 3, which did cause radio blackouts, but that has long since passed the planet. This Tuesday probably will come and go with radios, satellites and the Internet intact. Solar weather, however, remains a constant. The phenomenon includes solar flares and coronal mass ejections, which can affect Earth at any time. Scientists monitor the sun, like they do terrestrial weather, and study these events to try to predict when and where they will occur. So what actually happens when one of those solar storms heads our way?

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