NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory captures strong solar flare eruption | Tech News

NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory captures strong solar flare eruption

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory has captured a strong solar flare eruption.

| Updated on: Feb 05 2023, 20:06 IST
6 STRANGEST massive black hole discoveries in 2022 that shook the world
1/6 One of the most startling discoveries of 2022 was a massive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy. Known as Sagittarius A*, a direct image of this massive space entity was taken by the Event Horizon Telescope. With around 4 times the mass of our Sun, it is believed that the black hole plays a key role in holding our galaxy together. (Photo courtesy: Nasa)
2/6 Even as Sagittarius A* lies within our own galaxy, it is not the closest black hole to the Earth. That title goes to the cosmic matter eating void, lying 1,566 light years away from the Earth in the Ophiuchus constellation. It was discovered in November.  (NASA)
3/6 But if a black hole in our cosmic backyard does not scare you, maybe this will. 2022 was also the year scientists discovered a rogue black hole wandering in space. This discovery is particularly of value since it was always believed that isolated black holes exist but it was never seen due to the difficulty in spotting them. Usually all the black holes we know of are part of a binary system, along with a neutron star. (NASA)
4/6 A rare moment occurred in December 2022 when NASA spotted a black hole eating a passing star in a rare moment known as a tidal disruption event. It was believed that the star consumed by the black hole was similar to our Sun.    (AP)
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5/6 Even after decades of research and space exploration, we have still only observed just a few black holes in the universe. However, a study published this year has made some terrifying claims. Based on the number of stars spotted which are capable of turning into a black hole, and some number crunching on the potential number of stars that can exist, it was said that the universe currently contains 40 quintillion stellar-mass black holes. (AFP)
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6/6 Finally, the brightest black hole was also discovered this year. Known as J1144, this monstrous black hole is 500 times larger than Sagittarius A* and apparently it consumes matter worth the size of the Earth every second. Because of its consumption rate, it has created a massive accretion disk which makes it so bright. In fact, it can even be seen using a regular telescope. (NASA)
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Here is all you need to know about solar flare and CME. (NASA Sun and Space Twitter)

A strong solar flare has erupted on the Sun in early January and it has been captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics observatory. Informing about the same NASA Sun and Space tweeted, "#ICYMI: In early January of 2023, a strong solar flare erupted on the Sun. NASA's Solar in Dynamics Observatory captured the event." It can be known that eruptions on the Sun differ in various ways.

"Eruptions on the Sun differ in how they look, how they travel, and even in the way they impact us here on Earth. Solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs) both involve enormous explosions of energy – and at times may even occur simultaneously," another tweet by NASA Sun and Space read.

The research organisation further explained the difference between solar flare and coronal mass ejections (CME). A solar flare is a powerful burst of energy that can be spotted as a sudden flash of light. Fun fact: Traveling at the speed of light, the energy from flares can take 8 minutes to reach Earth!, NASA said.

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While coronal mass ejections – or CMEs – are large clouds of solar plasma and embedded magnetic fields released into space after a solar eruption. A CME can produce geomagnetic disturbances that ignite bright auroras or, at their worst, endanger astronauts in orbit.

Earlier NASA had said that Solar Flares can be predicted and this means timely action can be taken to mitigate the impact. Yes, scientists can now predict when and where the Sun's next flare might explode. The crucial role is that of Sun "Flashes". Flares and solar eruptions can impact radio communications, electric power grids, navigation signals, and pose risks to spacecraft and astronauts even.

"Using data from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, researchers from NorthWest Research Associates, or NWRA, identified small signals in the upper layers of the solar atmosphere, the corona, that can help identify which regions on the Sun are more likely to produce solar flares – energetic bursts of light and particles released from the Sun," NASA said.

They found that above the regions about to flare, the corona produced small-scale flashes – like small sparklers before the big fireworks. This information could eventually help improve predictions of flares and space weather storms – the disrupted conditions in space caused by the Sun's activity.

Scientists have previously studied how activity in lower layers of the Sun's atmosphere – such as the photosphere and chromosphere – can indicate impending flare activity in active regions, which are often marked by groups of sunspots, or strong magnetic regions on the surface of the Sun that are darker and cooler compared to their surroundings.

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First Published Date: 05 Feb, 20:06 IST