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Well Earth, it’s been fun.

A massive solar storm is rushing toward the planet at a staggering 4 million km/h. The phenomenon was unleashed after back-to-back solar flares erupted from the Sun earlier this week in just the right spot to line up with the Earth. While solar flares are common, it’s been several years since a storm this extreme was heading in our direction.

How will the storm affect me?

The most it’ll do is knock out your power out for a while. That’s because when the storm hits, our planet will be showered with energetic, radioactive particles. Our atmosphere will take care of the radiation, so don’t worry about that. But the particles that remain could temporarily interfere with GPS and cellphone signals, cause calls to drop, or even scramble television satellites. The energy won’t cause any lasting damage, as most of the particles will pass over top of the Earth.

Will anyone be able to “see” the storm?

Yes. In fact, if your lights go out tonight, it might even be a good thing. Canadians across the country and even Americans as far South as New England will likely be treated to an Aurora Borealis tonight. That’s because Northern Lights, as they are commonly known, occur when solar particles react with the Earth’s upper atmosphere. And believe us, there’s going to be a lot of that going on tonight.

Should I be worried?

No. The storm may cause some minor inconveniences, like the ones noted above, but this certainly isn’t an apocalyptic force. So go outside tonight, and enjoy the light show.

Scale image of Earth
A solar flare erupts from the surface of the Sun. Oct 25, 2002.