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Solar tsunami may hit earth: Scientists
WASHINGTON, AUG 3 (AGENCIES):
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Published on 4 Aug. 2010 12:08 AM IST
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Earth could be hit by a solar tsunami anytime, as an unusually complex magnetic eruption on the Sun has flung a large cloud of electrically charged particles towards earth, scientists have warned.
The explosion, called a coronal mass ejection, was aimed directly towards Earth, which then sent a “solar tsunami” racing 93 million miles across space, the New Scientist reported. Astronomers from all over the world witnessed the huge flare above a giant sunspot the size of the Earth, which they linked to an even larger eruption across the surface of Sun. Experts said the wave of supercharged gas was likely to reach the Earth on Tuesday, Aug 3, when it will buffet the natural magnetic shield protecting Earth.
Several satellites, including Nasa’s new Solar Dynamics Observatory, recorded on Sunday, Aug 1, a small solar flare erupting above sunspot 1092, the size of the Earth. The satellites also recorded a large filament of cool gas stretching across the Sun’s northern hemisphere also exploded into space.
“This eruption is directed right at us,” said Leon Golub, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics. However, a really big solar eruption could even shut down global communication grids and destroy satellites also.
The phenomena have been scientifically named “fast-mode magnetohydrodynamical waves,” or MHD waves for short. According to early estimates, they might have well packed a force much higher than that of 2,400 megatons of TNT.

 
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