The Sun produces a powerful solar flare that causes a solar radiation storm and possible radio outage
NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) said a moderate solar radiation storm (level S2 of S5) was occurring this weekend after the Sun unleashed a powerful Category X solar flare on Friday morning, sending charged particles toward Earth. . Solar flares are classified according to their intensity, with the least intense known as Category B, followed by Category C and M, and the most intense as Category X.
According to SWPC, a solar radiation storm occurs when charged particles near the Sun accelerate and reach Earth at more than 10 times the normal background amount. The S1 event, which is common, began on Friday, and the event was expected to peak at an S2 (moderate) event on Saturday morning. The S2 event is 100 times the normal energetic particle.
A geomagnetic storm hits Earth, causing bright northern lights to appear in the northern United States
Powerful solar flares can cause high-frequency power outages in the polar regions and pose risks to space launches and Earth-orbiting spacecraft. However, most people do not need to worry because these energetic particles do not reach a low enough level in the Earth’s atmosphere to affect the public.
Users of the high-frequency radio signal on the sunlit side of the planet may have experienced a power outage on Friday when the X-class flare peaked at 8:14 a.m. EDT, SWPC said.
NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured the powerful solar flare associated with a solar radiation storm. The bright flash of intense heat can be seen in the lower right portion of the image.
The flare is rated as X3.3 flare. X is the most intense and rare type of glow, and the number reflects its strength.
This week, NASA said SDO observed 20 M-class flares, the second strongest class of flares, and four C-class flares.
Solar flares typically occur in active regions of the Sun, and are often associated with sunspot clusters.
What is the 11-year solar cycle?
According to NASA, SDO continues to observe a massive cluster of sunspots on the Sun’s surface at the same time as the X-class flare. Sunspots can be viewed using eclipse glasses or a telescope equipped with a solar filter.
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More sunspots are expected to appear as the Sun approaches solar cycle maximum 25. In January, more than 120 sunspots were counted on the Sun, according to SWPC data.