One of the most powerful solar flares in recent years occurred on Friday. This was reported by the US space agency NASA. The eruption may also have consequences on Earth.
What could be the most powerful solar flare since 2017 could cause unrest in the coming days. For example, obstacles can occur in navigation systems, power grids and communication channels. There may also be consequences for spaceships and astronauts.
Fortunately for us, the solar flare went past the edge of the Sun, taking Earth out of the direct line of fire. This intense flame was accompanied by a large emission of plasma and the Sun’s magnetic field. This could disrupt our magnetic field on Earth and lead to geomagnetic storms. These can cause problems for satellites, but are well-loved by aurora hunters looking for beautiful images.
Because sunspots are located far south, a solar flare is unlikely to hit Earth directly. Although we may not be in the direct line of fire, that does not mean we are not affected. The eruption actually caused widespread radio outages due to the strong pulse of X-rays and intense ultraviolet radiation that struck the Earth at the time of the eruption.
The radiation reached Earth at the speed of light in just over eight minutes. It caused shortwave radio waves to be interrupted across the sunlit part of the Earth, including South America, Africa and the South Atlantic Ocean.
Since December 2019, solar activity has increased again.
The solar cycle lasts about eleven years. There are always phases with less and more activity. Currently the sun is approaching its zenith point.
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