A solar storm was expected to arrive on Earth early Thursday, sparking fears that it could make a direct hit with the planet. But forecasters at the Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colo., said this morning it will strike more of a glancing blow, shaking up the globe’s magnetic field and expanding the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, ABC Science reports.

The solar flare. (AFP/GETTY IMAGES/NASA)

And we’ll notice it. Radiation from the flare has already caused blackouts of high-frequency radio frequencies used by aircraft flying over the north and south poles, according to the center.  The flare is categorized in the X-5 class, and X is the strongest category on scientists’ scales.

More of your morning links below:

Follow up of the morning

The Kony 2012 debate rages on. Yesterday, we examined some of the questions some had about the Invisible Children campaign to stop Joseph Kony in Uganda. More criticisms and defenses have popped up this morning. (The Guardian, Jezebel, Tumblr)

Holiday of the morning

Happy International Women’s Day! Check out the women’s Google Doodle here, and great photos of ladies around the world here and here. (Guardian, ComicRiffs, Flickr and Fotopedia)

Unshocking list of the morning

Forbes Magazine’s annual rich list is out and surprise! Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim has topped it again, with a worth of $69 billion. Bill Gates and Warren Buffet took second and third place. (Forbes)

Resignation of the morning

Syria’s oil minister resigns... on YouTube. In the video, Abdo Hussameddin, 58, said he was joining the opposition. (YouTube)