(AP/NECN: Jackie Bruno) - The largest solar storm in five years is racing toward Earth, threatening to unleash a torrent of charged particles that could disrupt power grids, GPS and airplane flights.
The sun erupted Tuesday evening, and the effects should start smacking Earth between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. on Thursday, according to forecasters at the federal government's Space Weather Prediction Center.
They say the storm, which started with a massive solar flare, is growing as it speeds outward from the sun.
Scientists say the sun has been relatively quiet for some time.
This storm, while strong, may seem fiercer because Earth has been lulled by several years of weak solar activity.
The solar storm is likely to last through Friday morning, but the region that erupted can still send more blasts our way. The charged particles are expected to hit Earth at 4 million mph.
NECN Reporter Jackie Bruno went to the MIT Haystack Observatory, and spoke with Associate Director John Foster about the solar storm.