NASA has captured an X-class solar flare triggered by the Sun. The resulting solar storm may soon reach Earth. Know the damage that the solar storm can cause.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) spotted a strong solar flare shot from the surface of the Sun. The solar flare was triggered in the sunspot named AR3006. The sunspot was labeled as “mixed” because its polarity is the reverse of what scientists expected. According to them, this makes this sunspot both exciting and dangerous. It is expected that there is a high probability that the resulting solar storm will hit Earth soon. How dangerous can it be and what are the risks associated with it? Keep reading to find out.
The Sun-triggered solar flare was recorded as an X1.5 class event. This makes it the strongest category of solar flare. For those who don’t know, solar flares are divided into A, B, C, M and X where A is the weakest solar flare while X is the strongest. The flare was captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has issued a warning regarding shortwave radio outage in the Atlantic Ocean region.
NASA: Solar storm heads for Earth, causing radio blackouts
Over the past few months, Earth has been subjected to multiple such strong solar storms that have caused radio blackouts in various parts of the planet. Last time, a similar solar storm caused power outages in Australia and parts of Asia. The increase in solar activity is the result of the Sun moving closer to the peak of its maximum phase of its solar cycle. Although the Sun won’t reach its peak until 2025, the growing number of sunspots on the solar disk has already started to create problems for Earth.
While this particular solar storm is not expected to be severe, it is still likely that it will also disrupt GPS and distort aircraft and ship navigation systems. Had the solar storm toward Earth been stronger, NASA says it could have damaged satellites and disrupted mobile networks and internet services. Power grid outages would also not be out of the question. Although it looks like we will be able to tolerate this wave of solar anger, only time will tell how severe future solar storms can be.