Solar flare knocks out some radio temporarily
Federal forecasters say a brief but strong solar flare Wednesday morning temporarily blacked out a few radio communication systems before weakening.
Space Weather Prediction Center forecaster Christopher Balch said it affected radio that uses part of the upper atmosphere. That includes some radar and plane systems, but not all, and amateur radio.
The storm came from a large group of sunspots and hit Earth between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. EDT. Balch said the storm briefly was rated as strong for affecting Earth radio systems but then dropped to minor levels.
He said so far forecasters see no high-energy particles coming from the flare. That means other effects are not expected, such as changes in the colorful northern lights, or harm to the electrical grid or satellites.
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