Quotes from the news wire:
The constant activity on the surface of the Sun is punctuated by violent outbursts powered the Sun’s strong magnetic field. Solar flares emit bursts of X-rays that travel outward at the speed of light, coronal mass ejections( CMEs) are giant eruptions of hot gasses from the Sun’s outer atmosphere. As this blast wave of solar material( plasma) streams towards the planets at 1000 km/sec, it sweeps up the magnetic field in its path, creating a magnetized shockwave of the type that struck Earth’s magnetic field on October 8, 2013.
Interplanetary shocks, traveling toward Earth from the Sun, have been observed and studied before, what is of major interest in the event reported are the direct observations of the effects of the shock on Earth’s Van Allen radiation belts with sufficient detail to reveal the processes taking place. Although the main strength of the solar shock is deflected by the magnetic shield that surrounds our planet, a brief pulse of energy penetrates closer to Earth where it accelerates radiation belt electrons to ultra-relativistic energies in less than a minute.
For shocks traveling toward our planet, Earth’s magnetic field would take the direct hit such that most of the resulting disturbance would be confined to Earth’s outer magnetic field – our magnetosphere – with the ‘ noticeable ’ effects being those associated with a large geomagnetic storm – bright aurora, communications disturbances, scattered electrical power outages.