A HUGE solar flare hurled out by the Sun at over million miles per hour, set to spark scary Geomagnetic storm

A huge solar flare has erupted on the surface of the Sun. It will likely spark a geomagnetic storm on Earth, which can destroy communications infra here

| Updated on: Aug 15 2022, 18:03 IST
How well do you know Earth's Moon? How did it form, rotation, its orbit? Get up close and familiar- 5 points
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1/5 How did the Moon form? According to the information provided by NASA, the leading theory behind the formation of the Moon is that a Mars-sized object collided with Earth billions of years ago, and debris from this collision eventually formed the Moon. (NASA)
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2/5 Moon's rotation: The time it takes for the Moon to rotate once on its axis is equal to the time it takes for the Moon to orbit once around Earth. This keeps the same side of the Moon facing towards Earth throughout the month. (NASA)
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3/5 Moon orbit Earth: According to NASA, the Moon takes about one month to orbit Earth (27.3 days to complete a revolution, but 29.5 days to change from New Moon to New Moon). As the Moon completes each 27.3-day orbit around Earth, both Earth and the Moon are moving around the Sun. Because of this change in position, sunlight appears to hit the Moon at a slightly different angle on day 27 than it does on day zero ― even though the Moon itself has already traveled all the way around Earth. It takes a little more than two additional days for sunlight to hit the Moon in the same way it did on day zero. This is why it takes 29.5 days to get from new moon to new moon, even though it doesn’t take quite that long for the Moon itself to travel once around Earth. (NASA)
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4/5 Does the Moon have gravity? What would happen if there was no Moon? The Moon does have gravity. Because the Moon has less mass than Earth, its gravitational pull is weaker (about one-sixth of Earth’s). On the Moon, you will be able to jump about six times as high as you can on Earth ― but you would still come back down, informs NASA. Also, If there would be no Moon, Earth would be a very different world. The Moon’s gravity keeps our planet from wobbling on its axis too much, which helps to stabilize our climate. The Moon also plays an important role in creating tides in Earth’s oceans. (NASA)
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5/5 Who Has Walked on the Moon? Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin were the first of 12 human beings to walk on the Moon. Four of America's moonwalkers are still alive: Aldrin (Apollo 11), David Scott (Apollo 15), Charles Duke (Apollo 16), and Harrison Schmitt (Apollo 17). In all, 24 American astronauts made the trip from Earth to the Moon between 1968 and 1972. Three astronauts made the journey from Earth to the Moon twice: James Lovell (Apollo 8 and Apollo 13), John Young (Apollo 10 and Apollo 16), and Gene Cernan (Apollo 10 and Apollo 17). (NASA)
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NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the blast of the solar flare on the surface of the Sun. (NASA)

The Sun is getting more and more active day by day as it reaches the peak of its 11-year solar cycle while unleashing more volatile solar flares and CMEs. Recently, space agencies warned that a strong solar flare is headed towards the Earth after a violent disturbance on the surface of the Sun was noticed. Yesterday, the sun hurled a plume of dark plasma into space following a dramatic explosion around sunspot AR3076, Spaceweather.com reported. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the blast of this solar flare, which began on August 14th around 11:30 UT (around 16:00 IST). This is now hurtling towards Earth at terrifying speed.

Spaceweather.com further reported, “Traveling faster than 600 km/s (1.3 million mph), the plume tore through the sun's outer atmosphere, creating a coronal mass ejection (CME). Newly updated images from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) confirm that the CME has an Earth-directed component.” NASA says that “The outer solar atmosphere, the corona, is structured by strong magnetic fields. Where these fields are closed, often above sunspot groups. A large CME can contain a billion tons of matter that can be accelerated to several million miles per hour in a spectacular explosion.”

The solar flare caused an interesting shape on the surface of the Sun. Space Weather Watch tweeted, "Quite an interesting shape the CH has. We should see some high-speed stream effects at Earth this week, but the coronal hole's longitudinal extent is fairly poor, meaning its effects may not be that long-lasting.”

Impact of solar flares on Earth

Space Experts warned that the erupted solar flare can impact the Earth and leave quite a some destruction behind. Space Weather report mentioned that minor to moderate geomagnetic storms are possible mid-day on August 17th when a CME is expected to sideswipe Earth's magnetic field. A geomagnetic storm is a major disturbance of Earth's magnetosphere that occurs when there is a very efficient exchange of energy from the solar wind into the space environment surrounding Earth. It can impact satellite communications as well as cause radio blackouts and perhaps even affect power grids.

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First Published Date: 15 Aug, 18:03 IST