Blackouts, solar flares, and an impending solar storm, Earth goes through a terrifying 24 hours | Tech News

Blackouts, solar flares, and an impending solar storm, Earth goes through a terrifying 24 hours

The last 24 hours have been filled with solar activity. Radio blackouts, solar flare eruptions, and a CME that is likely to hit the Earth anytime have all been recorded. Check details.

| Updated on: Sep 06 2023, 14:47 IST
Think you know our Sun? Check out THESE 5 stunning facts
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1/5 The Sun is the largest object in our solar system and is a 4.5 billion-year-old star – a hot glowing ball of hydrogen and helium at the center of the solar system. It is about 93 million miles (150 million kilometers) from Earth, and without its energy, life as we know it could not exist here on our home planet. (Pixabay)
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2/5 The Sun’s volume would need 1.3 million Earths to fill it. Its gravity holds the solar system together, keeping everything from the biggest planets to the smallest bits of debris in orbit around it. The hottest part of the Sun is its core, where temperatures top 27 million degrees Fahrenheit (15 million degrees Celsius). The Sun’s activity, from its powerful eruptions to the steady stream of charged particles it sends out, influences the nature of space throughout the solar system. (NASA)
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3/5 According to NASA, measuring a “day” on the Sun is complicated because of the way it rotates. It doesn't spin as a single, solid ball. This is because the Sun’s surface isn't solid like Earth's. Instead, the Sun is made of super-hot, electrically charged gas called plasma. This plasma rotates at different speeds on different parts of the Sun. At its equator, the Sun completes one rotation in 25 Earth days. At its poles, the Sun rotates once on its axis every 36 Earth days. (NASA)
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4/5 Above the Sun’s surface are its thin chromosphere and the huge corona (crown). This is where we see features such as solar prominences, flares, and coronal mass ejections. The latter two are giant explosions of energy and particles that can reach Earth. (Pixabay)
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5/5 The Sun doesn’t have moons, but eight planets orbit it, at least five dwarf planets, tens of thousands of asteroids, and perhaps three trillion comets and icy bodies. Also, several spacecraft are currently investigating the Sun including Parker Solar Probe, STEREO, Solar Orbiter, SOHO, Solar Dynamics Observatory, Hinode, IRIS, and Wind. (Pixabay)
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Know all about the solar storm and other activities that have plagued the Earth in the last 24 hours. (Pixabay)

With the equinox approaching on September 23, solar activities have picked up again. It is known that during this period, the Earth suffered due to a higher frequency of extreme solar activities due to the magnetic poles of the Earth making a right angle with the Sun. And in the last 24 hours, the Earth has witnessed some intense blows from the Sun. There have been instances of radio blackouts, solar flare eruptions, CME releases, and a possible solar storm that can strike the Earth at any given time. So, let us take a look at what has happened in this brief period and how it affects us.

Radio blackouts

According to the data from SpaceWeatherLive's X account, there were two separate instances of shortwave radio blackouts. The first struck at 1 AM today, with the focal point being in the Pacific Ocean and it impacted both North and South Americas. The blackout was believed to have come from a solar flare eruption of an M1.08 category.

The second one struck at 5 AM and it was also centered in the Pacific Ocean. Luckily, no landmass came under its area of impact. It was estimated to have come from an M1.1-class solar flare eruption.

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Solar flares

As we all know shortwave radio blackouts are the after-effect of a solar flare eruption, two separate flares were also detected going off prior to the blackout. The first one was estimated to have come from sunspot region AR3421 and contained an intensity of the level M1.26. The second one also emerged from the same sunspot region and it contained an intensity of M1.01.

Solar storm threat

Yesterday, SpaceWeatherLive also gave a warning for an incoming solar storm. It posted, “The tell-tale signs of a coronal mass ejection passage have been observed in the data coming from the DSCOVR satellite. A sudden jump in the solar wind and IMF stats have been observed as a plasma cloud passes the satellite. Expect enhanced geomagnetic conditions in the next 12 to 24 hours depending on how the situation develops”.

This storm is expected to hit within the next few hours. As per the data, it is not expected to be a major solar storm.

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First Published Date: 06 Sep, 14:36 IST