Great flare on the Sun, haywire communications in Asia and the Pacific

NASA’s SDO (Solar Dynamics Observatory) probe captured the strong solar flare that on March 28 disrupted radio communications for an hour in South-East Asia, Australia and New Zealand. The event, which allows bad space weather to be predicted in the next few days, was classified as a class X flare, the most powerful of the five in which these phenomena are classified: it was the seventh of its kind in this first part of the year, a clear sign of the progressive intensification of solar activity, considering that seven similar events occurred throughout 2022.

The solar flare recorded on March 28 by NASA’s SDO probe (source: NASA/SDO)

The sunspot from which the flare of recent days originated has also produced three other more modest flares. Space weather experts from the UK’s Met Office judge solar activity to be high and believe more flares are likely in the coming days. These bursts of electromagnetic radiation traveling at the speed of light could be accompanied by solar flares (Cme), or emissions of charged particles from the outermost layer of the solar atmosphere, the corona. Unlike flares, whose effects appear within minutes on Earth but fade quickly, eruptions take days to reach our planet. Charged particles can penetrate the atmosphere and unleash geomagnetic storms that produce beautiful auroras, but they can also disrupt power grids and damage orbiting satellites.

While waiting to understand if this scenario will materialize, the forecasts indicate a strong solar wind on the way: the first flows of charged particles have already started from two large holes that have formed on the solar corona and in the coming days could cause geomagnetic storms of weak intensity.

Source: Ansa

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