SCIENCE
09/12/2014 09:31 am ET Updated Sep 12, 2014

Big Solar Storm Heading Toward Earth This Weekend

Not just one, but two strong solar flares burst off the sun's surface this week -- and now Earth is getting hit with the aftermath.

While the solar storm headed our way may affect power lines, radio transmissions, communication systems and satellites to a small degree, scientists say it's nothing to worry about.

"We're not scared of this one," Tom Berger, director of the Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colorado, told the AP.

A strong X1.6-class solar flare erupted from a sunspot on Wednesday, following a previous flare that blasted out of the same spot on Monday, LiveScience reported. Just check out the action captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory in the video below.

NASA scientists said that a small flare was also spotted on the left corner of the sun Thursday morning, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Due to these significant solar events, two waves of highly energized solar material from the eruptions have traveled our way and are now expected to impact the Earth. In fact, the National Weather Service has issued a "geomagnetic" storm watch until Saturday, Sept. 13.

"Geomagnetic storms can cause some problems for the (power) grid but are typically very manageable," Bill Murtagh, space weather forecaster for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told USA Today. "We may also see some anomalies with satellites so satellite operators around the world have been notified. And problems with the accuracy of GPS have been observed with this level of storming."

Minor issues aside, radiation from solar flares can't pass through Earth's atmosphere to physically harm humans and these recent storms should not endanger satellites and astronauts in space, Space.com reported.

There may even be an upside to the solar storm. Scientists say we may see an increase in beautiful auroral displays in the sky.

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