Sun just blasted a monstrous solar flare at Earth! NASA reveals image | Tech News

Sun just blasted a monstrous solar flare at Earth! NASA reveals image

NASA has informed that the Sun emitted a strong solar flare on January 5. An image has also been captured of the event.

| Updated on: Jan 08 2023, 15:18 IST
6 STRANGEST massive black hole discoveries in 2022 that shook the world
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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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Strong solar flare emitted by Sun on January 5, 2023. (NASA)

Sun is the largest object in our solar system. It is a hot glowing ball of hydrogen and helium at the center of the solar system. It is a source of energy without which life could not exist on Earth. There are several solar activities also associated with the huge fire ball. The solar activities include solar flares, coronal mass ejection, high-speed solar wind, and solar energetic particles. Recently, NASA has informed that the Sun emitted a strong solar flare, peaking at 7:57 p.m. EDT on January 5, 2023. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the Sun constantly, even captured an image of the event.

This flare is classified as an X1.2 flare. X-class are the most intense flares. Notably, solar flares are powerful bursts of energy. Are they dangerous for planet Earth? Solar flares and solar eruptions, if powerful enough, can impact radio communications, electric power grids, navigation signals, and pose risks to spacecraft, astronauts and yes, they can affect the internet and mobile phone communications.

However, it needs to be noted that the solar flares impact Earth only when they occur on the side of the sun facing Earth. Because flares are made of photons, they travel out directly from the flare site, so if we can see the flare, we can be impacted by it.

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According to NASA, a solar flare is an intense burst of radiation coming from the release of magnetic energy associated with sunspots. 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.

"We typically see a solar flare by the photons (or light) it releases, at most every wavelength of the spectrum. The primary ways we monitor flares are in x-rays and optical light. Flares are also sites where particles (electrons, protons, and heavier particles) are accelerated," the research organisation said.

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First Published Date: 08 Jan, 15:17 IST