A huge solar flare has erupted on the surface of the Sun. It will likely spark a geomagnetic storm on Earth, which can destroy communications infra here
The Sun is getting more and more active day by day as it reaches the peak of its 11-year solar cycle while unleashing more volatile solar flares and CMEs. Recently, space agencies warned that a strong solar flare is headed towards the Earth after a violent disturbance on the surface of the Sun was noticed. Yesterday, the sun hurled a plume of dark plasma into space following a dramatic explosion around sunspot AR3076, Spaceweather.com reported. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the blast of this solar flare, which began on August 14th around 11:30 UT (around 16:00 IST). This is now hurtling towards Earth at terrifying speed.
Spaceweather.com further reported, “Traveling faster than 600 km/s (1.3 million mph), the plume tore through the sun’s outer atmosphere, creating a coronal mass ejection (CME). Newly updated images from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) confirm that the CME has an Earth-directed component.” NASA says that “The outer solar atmosphere, the corona, is structured by strong magnetic fields. Where these fields are closed, often above sunspot groups. A large CME can contain a billion tons of matter that can be accelerated to several million miles per hour in a spectacular explosion.”
The solar flare caused an interesting shape on the surface of the Sun. Space Weather Watch tweeted, “Quite an interesting shape the CH has. We should see some high-speed stream effects at Earth this week, but the coronal hole’s longitudinal extent is fairly poor, meaning its effects may not be that long-lasting.”
Impact of solar flares on Earth
Space Experts warned that the erupted solar flare can impact the Earth and leave quite a some destruction behind. Space Weather report mentioned that minor to moderate geomagnetic storms are possible mid-day on August 17th when a CME is expected to sideswipe Earth’s magnetic field. A geomagnetic storm is a major disturbance of Earth’s magnetosphere that occurs when there is a very efficient exchange of energy from the solar wind into the space environment surrounding Earth. It can impact satellite communications as well as cause radio blackouts and perhaps even affect power grids.