PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Franklin Institute’s chief astronomer, Derrick Pitts, says the most common effect of solar flares is brighter Northern Lights but they can have some negative effects too.

“This could cause disruptions in any sort of satellite communications, any sort of wireless communications and there’s a chance it could also disrupt power distribution.”

Pitts says the earth is pretty well protected by its own magnetic field and scientists expect this to be a mild maximum, but scientists will be keeping close track of solar flares until this maximum reaches its peak in 2013.

By Pat Loeb, KYW Newsradio

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