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Powerful M-Class Solar Flare alert today! Earth may face solar storm danger

The NOAA forecasters have issued a warning about a powerful M-class solar flare today. It may lead to a solar storm on Earth thereafter.

Updated on: Apr 09 2023, 16:04 IST
Does the upcoming solar flare pose danger to Earth? Here’s what experts say. (SDO/NASA)

The Sun is increasingly spewing out dangerous solar flares, which are having a significant impact on Earth. Recently, a newly formed sunspot exploded spitting out out an M3-class solar flare on April 6, which was directed in the direction of Earth. Result? A minor shortwave radio blackout over the Indian Ocean area, affecting South Asian nations such as India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and even China, Japan, and South Korea. The situation was just coming to normal when yet another solar flare is expected to have its impact on Earth.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecasters predicted that there is a 30 percent chance of an M-class solar flares today, April 9, reported. The report further noted on its website, "Almost certainly, the source would be sunspot AR3272, which has an unstable 'beta-gamma' magnetic field."

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The worrying part is that "Any explosions will be geoeffective as the sunspot is turning to face Earth," added in its report. That means Earth will soon face the consequences of this new M-class Solar flare. The solar flares are classified into four classes - A, B, C, M, and X based on their intensity. So, the most powerful solar flare would be an X-classified solar flare while M denotes the second most powerful solar flare.

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Just like the M3-class solar flare which caused a blackout over the Indian Ocean, the upcoming solar flare poses danger to our planet. NOAA alert has warned that "Satellite systems may experience significant charging resulting in increased risk to satellite systems."

Use of tech in solar flare predictions

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) monitors Solar Flares and Sun's behaviour using its DSCOVR satellite which became operational in 2016. The recovered data is then run through the Space Weather Prediction Center and the final analysis is prepared. The satellite tracks different measurements of the Sun and its atmospheres such as temperature, speed, density, degree of orientation, and frequency of the solar particles.

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First Published Date: 09 Apr, 16:03 IST