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Solar flare activity is expected to build for the next three years to a crescendo that some scientists say could be cataclysmic, causing a telecommunication blackout that would down mobile phones and navigational systems.
“The solar flares are expected to be at its maximum intensity by the year 2010,” Markus Aschwanden, a solar physicist at the Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory, Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center, told the Hindu News. “These solar flares and Coronal Mass Ejections from the sun have the ability to travel all the way to the earth and create a black-out of cellular phone services and navigational systems like the GPS.
Solar flares and CMEs occur when magnetic energy built up in the Sun’s atmosphere is suddenly released. The flares carrying high amount of energy, travel at high speeds and reach the Earth in a matter of hours.
“If a solar flare or a CME collides with the Earth, it can cause a geomagnetic storm,” Aschwanden said, adding large geomagnetic storms have caused electrical power outages and damaged communication satellites. “A few years back, these solar flares destroyed the satellite Galaxy 4.”
That outage in 1998 resulted in widespread loss of pager service and numerous other communication problems.
For more details, see the complete report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.