Last Updated: 2010-08-04 18:06:24 UTC
by Johannes Ullrich (Version: 1)
A comment to my earlier "lightning" diary pointed out that NOAA warned of a large solar eruption that happened on Sunday (August 1st). NOAA monitors "Space Weather"  in an effort to protect satellites. In this case, the effect may be large enough to cause some problems on the ground as well.
These events are not all that unusual, and in most cases there is little ground based damage if any. Long distance radio transmissions and satellite communications are usually affected first. Given our reliance on systems like GPS, an outage may have indirect ground based affects. Sensitive electronics may be affected and outdoor radiation levels may be higher then normal. Long distance power lines may also be affected by the associated changes in earths magnetic field as well as charged particles.
On the fun side: This may lead to more northern lights. Maybe check them out after dark for the next couple of days.