Solar storm watch: X-class solar flare impacts Earth, causing radio blackout over Pacific Ocean | Tech News

Solar storm watch: X-class solar flare impacts Earth, causing radio blackout over Pacific Ocean

NOAA forecasters have revealed that an X-class solar flare struck Earth yesterday, March 28, following which a radio blackout over the Pacific Ocean was observed. Know the details of this solar storm.

| Updated on: Mar 29 2024, 13:14 IST
Solar eclipse 2024: Top 5 NASA tips to capture this celestial spectacle safely
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1/5 Prioritize Safety: Ensure both your eyes and camera are protected with appropriate solar filters. Never look directly at the total solar eclipse without proper eye protection. Use a solar filter for your camera lens to prevent damage. Remember to remove the filter during totality to capture the Sun's corona safely. (NASA)
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2/5 Utilize Available Equipment: Regardless of your camera type, whether a DSLR or a smartphone, focus on honing your skills and creativity. Even basic equipment can produce stunning results. If lacking specialized gear like a telephoto lens, opt for landscape shots to capture the ambiance of the changing light. (NASA)
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3/5 Equip Yourself: Additional accessories such as tripods and delayed shutter release timers can significantly improve image stability, especially in low-light conditions. A tripod ensures steady shots, while a timer reduces camera shake, resulting in sharper images. (NASA)
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4/5 Explore Diverse Perspectives: Beyond capturing the eclipse itself, seize the opportunity to document the surrounding environment. Look for unique lighting effects, shadow play, and the reactions of fellow eclipse watchers. Embrace different angles and viewpoints to add depth to your photography. (NASA)
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5/5 Master Your Gear: Familiarize yourself with your camera's settings well ahead of the total solar eclipse. Experiment with exposure and focus to adapt swiftly to changing light conditions during the eclipse. Practice adjusting settings for optimal results, particularly during the transition from partial to total eclipse phases. (NASA)
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An X-class solar flare was hurled out by the sunspot AR3615 yesterday, NOAA forecasters say. (NASA)

In the last few days, there has been a growing danger of a geomagnetic storm impacting Earth. This development comes just days after the strongest solar storm since 2017 struck the planet, causing a 9-hour-long geomagnetic storm. The Sun has turned volatile in the last few months due to the approaching peak of solar cycle 25. As the peak arrives, solar phenomena such as solar particles, CMEs, solar flares, solar storms and geomagnetic storms are expected to increase both in frequency and severity. Now, NASA, keeping a solar storm watch, has revealed that a solar flare struck Earth recently, causing a radio blackout in the process.

Also Read: 6 essential precautions for total solar eclipse 2024

X-class solar flare threat

According to forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an X-class solar flare was hurled out by the Sun by sunspot AR3615. This flare struck Earth, ionizing the top of its atmosphere. Consequently, a shortwave radio blackout was observed over the Pacific Ocean on March 28.

Following this solar flare threat, a CME is also reported to be emerging from the same site from which the X-class solar flares were hurled out. NOAA forecasters are reported to be modelling this data to predict a potential solar storm.

The report states, “Yesterday, giant sunspot AR3615 produced another X1-class solar flare. The explosion on March 28th at 2053 UT ionized the top of Earth's atmosphere and caused a deep shortwave radio blackout over the Pacific Ocean: map. Of greater interest is a CME emerging from the blast site. NOAA analysts are modeling the CME to check for a possible Earth-directed component.”

Also Read: Effects of solar storm - Know the danger

Rise in solar activity

This solar flare impact occurred at a time when the Russell-McPherron effect is currently in play due to the Vernal Equinox. This effect causes cracks in the Earth's magnetic field, allowing even weak solar winds to seep through. But why does it occur? According to NASA, this happens due to the This is due to a semiannual variation in the effective southward component of the interplanetary field. Thus, solar storms are more frequently observed during this period.

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First Published Date: 29 Mar, 13:14 IST