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Solar Storm Threatens to Interfere with Cell Phones, Pagers - 2003-10-24

A powerful storm on the sun, similar to a "solar flare," is threatening to disrupt some modern conveniences here on Earth.

No severe problems are expected, but scientists say the resulting geomagnetic storm could interfere with some satellite communications and navigation devices, cell phones, pagers and electric supply grids across the planet.

The event, called a "coronal mass ejection," was detected earlier this week. Its magnetic energy was expected to reach Earth about 1900 hours Universal time Friday, and its effects could last between 12 and 18 hours.