THE SOLAR SYSTEM: NASA scientists are warning satellite operators and power companies to prepare for a large-scale geomagnetic storm that may be capable of disrupting telecommunications and power grids. A major solar eruption on Monday sent more than a million tons of ionized particles hurtling outward; the solar wind should wash over the Earth Wednesday night and Thursday. The eruption was first recorded two days ago by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, a two year old satellite stationed in solar orbit. Astronomers credit a similar storm with knocking out a $200 million AT&T communications satellite in January. Though solar storms may sound ominous, they pose no threat at all to humans -- after all, they've been happening regularly for billions of years. NASA's astronomers note that this eruption could miss our little blue dot altogether. If not, look for an enhanced aurora borealis -- the Northern Lights that create a brilliant effect in the northern skies.