Sci-tech

Nasa captures the strongest solar flares of the past decade

Nasa captures the strongest solar flares of the past decade”

If a solar flare is directed at Earth, which these ones were, it can generate a radiation storm that interferes with radio and Global Positioning System signals.

These flares are measured on a scale from one to nine in C, M and X classes, with X being the most powerful.

"The satellites are designed very specifically to take into account these kinds of events", SWPC physicist Terry Onsager told LiveScience. The last such powerful X-class flare was 9.0 on December 5, 2006. The solar flare was so powerful that it caused high-frequency radio blackouts on the dayside of the Earth for the duration of about an hour. "However, compared to the iconic Carrington Event of 1859, or even the more recent Halloween storms of 2003, this event is relatively mild". These post-flare loops are still active.

The region has shot out five relatively large flares since September 4, according to NASA.

"X-class denotes the most intense flares, while the number provides more information about its strength". An X2 is twice as strong as an X1, an X3 is three times as strong, and so on.

Solar flares occur in sun spots, the cooler regions of the sun. The spots look like dark splotches on the face of the star.

This means a multitude of things for us Earthians.

The first flare is classified as an M7.3 flare. When the sun's magnetic fields get twisted and tangled, they can send enormous bursts of energy speeding toward Earth in a matter of minutes. Dr.Tamitha Skov, Space weather forecaster shared a Periscope Live Video on her Twitter and also informed people about the Global Positioning System issues and when to see the aurora or northern lights.

As a result, radiation flowing from the sun's surface may bring brilliant auroras and strong geomagnetic storms to Earth through Saturday (Sept. 9), according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC).

The arrival of the coronal mass ejection could push the oval of the aurora down into the Midwest, making the northern lights visible for people along a wide swath of the United States. Sun also has a magnetic field like the Earth. The X9.3 flare was the strongest observed since an X9.0 in December 2006 and the eighth most powerful since at least June 1996, according to Smithsonian.com and SpaceWeatherLive.com.

According to the USA space agency, the second flare was the most intense recorded since the start of this sun cycle in December 2008.



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