February 11, 2015 at 11:30am

Millikin professor weighs in on the impact of solar storms

Casey WatsonNinety-three million miles away sits our old, but still very active sun. Like Earth, the star has weather too. However, it's far from what we're used to. Solar flares, radiation storms and coronal mass ejections are a part of space weather which has become a serious threat for our planet.
 
Solar storms can happen anywhere around the sun. If one of those storms is directed towards Earth, charged particles will bombard the planet at approximately 700,000 miles per hour. Those particles can interact with our magnetic field and cause a wide range of problems.
 
Dr. Casey Watson, an astrophysicist at Millikin University, says, "If you have a big enough episode of this, it will overload transformers on our power grid and blow them out. So you could have worldwide outages."
 
Click here to read more about solar storms in a story from WAND-TV.