Large solar flare erupts; little impact to Earth

July 13, 2012 - 10:48 AM
Solar Storm

This false-color image provided by NASA shows a solar flare, lower center, erupting from the sun on Thursday, July 12, 2012. Space weather scientists said there should be little impact to Earth. The flare erupted from a region which rotated into view on July 6, 2012. (AP Photo/NASA)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A huge solar flare erupted from the sun Thursday, streaming radiation toward Earth.

The solar storm is expected to arrive early Saturday, but forecasters at the government's Space Weather Prediction Center say they expected minimal impact to communication systems and power grids.

It may spark colorful auroras in southern Canada and northern United States.

The storm is part of the sun's normal 11-year cycle, which is supposed to reach a peak next year.

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured Thursday's flare, wowing scientists with images of the massive outburst.