Sun fires significant solar flare, can disrupt Earth's GPS signals: NASA

by Technology | 29-10-2021 | 1266 views

New Delhi: The Sun shot off a “significant” solar flare which was captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). The flare came from a sunspot called AR2887 peaking at 11:35 AM EDT on October 28, 2021. 

The importance of the a sunspot is that it determines if the massive solar flare could cause anyharm to earth, and based on its location the flare was positioned in the center of the sun and facing the Earth, Spaceweather.com reported.

"POW! The sun just served up a powerful flare," Nasa tweeted.

The flare has been categorised as X1 category and is likely to hit Earth`s magnetic field on Saturday. The X1-class flare caused a temporary, yet strong radio blackout across the sunlit side of Earth centred on South America, as per the US Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC). 

The flare created a massive tsunami of plasma. "The plasma wave was about 100,000 km tall and moved through the sun`s atmosphere faster than 1.6 million mph," SpaceWeather.com said. 

Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Though, the radiation flare cannot pass through Earth`s atmosphere to harm humans but it a really intense flare can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel.

NASA explained that the X-class denotes the most intense flares, while the number provides more information about its strength. An X2 is twice as intense as an X1, an X3 is three times as intense, etc.

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