Solar storm alert! Massive solar flare heading towards Earth, threatens blackouts | Tech News

Solar storm alert! Massive solar flare heading towards Earth, threatens blackouts

A massive solar flare escaped from the Sun towards the Earth! NOAA has warned about possible radio blackouts as a consequence of resultant solar storm in the coming days.

| Updated on: Jul 17 2022, 12:15 IST
Solar Flare
A possible strong radio blackout is possible as an aftermath of an X-class solar flare. (Pixabay)

A massive solar flare has escaped from the Sun! This solar flare terror is expected to hit Earth soon. This may lead to a powerful solar storm that may well be strong enough to cause radio blackouts here. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has raised an alert about. This solar flare burst from the surface of the Sun on July 14 and it was directed towards Earth. Space weather expert Dr. Tamitha Skov has posted her reaction on Twitter about this solar flare unleashed from the Sun. So, what are solar flares? Well, NASA says, "Solar flares are an intense burst of radiation coming from the release of magnetic energy associated with sunspots. Solar flares are our solar system's largest explosive events. They are seen as bright areas on the sun and they can last from minutes to hours." She also warns, "...blackout to occur on July 18."

Tamitha Skov posted this on Twitter: “New region 3058 fires a M2.9-flare! It is now the fourth region on the Sun with the X-factor. NOAA sets X-flare risk at 10% but that could rise soon.” What does an X-class flare mean? The X-factor for the solar flare denotes one of the most intense flares. And the number along with the intensity symbol of the solar flare denotes its strength. 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. 

Impact of Solar flares on Earth 

Dr Skov further added that “More radio blackouts impact amateur radio operations on Earth's dayside are likely. GPS users stay vigilant near dawn and dusk.” This means the solar storm is expected to cause significant blackouts to GPS navigation systems on Earth. That means it is capable of disrupting journeys for small aircraft as well as ships.

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However, NOAA mentioned in its latest report, “A slight chance for S1 (Minor) solar radiation storms will be present 17-18 July mainly due to the favorable location of active regions 3053 and 3055, as well as growth noted in region 3056.” NOAA confirmed that Radio blackouts reaching the R1 levels were observed over the past 24 hours. One of the largest was on July 16 2022 at 15:39 UTC. This even further poses risk to the Earth with a chance for minor to a moderate level or even a slight chance for an R3, which is strong in nature, blackout to occur on July 18 while observing the current active regions on the solar disk.

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First Published Date: 17 Jul, 12:15 IST