Terrifyingly powerful solar flare smashes into Earth; causes blackouts in Africa, solar storm coming today?
The Sun took a violent turn yesterday. A solar flare erupted from within the sunspot AR3098. This was no ordinary sunspot as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) classified it as an M-class solar flare. This is one of the strongest types of solar flares that exist. The event was recorded using the tech marvel DSCOVR satellite. It has various instruments to observe temperature, speed, density, degree of orientation and frequency of solar particles ejecting from the Sun and calculates their intensity. This dangerous solar flare sent a powerful burst of X-rays and UV radiation towards the Earth and caused radio blackouts in Africa and the Middle East. At this moment, it is not clear if coronal mass ejection (CME) was also released and if it can give birth to a solar storm today or in days to come.
The report came from SpaceWeather.com which noted, “Departing sunspot AR3098 erupted today, Sept. 16th at 0949 UT, producing an impulsive M8-class solar flare: image. It was nearly an X-flare, the most powerful kind. A pulse of X-rays and extreme UV radiation caused a strong shortwave radio blackout over Africa and the Middle East. Ham radio operators in the area may have noticed unusual propagation conditions at frequencies below 25 MHz for as much as an hour after the flare”.
Solar flare hits the Earth
A shortwave radio blackout may not seem like a big deal, but it can cause a really difficult situation for many. From ships and planes in travel to ham radio operators, all suffered lack of connectivity. This means ships and planes would not be able to contact the radio center and their ability to navigate also goes down. Many ships get temporarily lost after losing connectivity with the command center.
It is also believed that if the incoming radiation blast was stronger it could even block other wireless transmissions like GPS, Internet and mobile phone networks. That would entirely eliminate communication systems and cause massive chaos in the world.