Huge solar flare erupts on Sun, causes Blackouts on Earth, says NASA; Will a solar storm hit us?

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A large M-class solar flare erupted on the Sun which caused radio blackouts on Earth, according to NASA. Now, there is a concern whether the resultant solar storm can hit our planet and cause further damage.

In the last couple of weeks, the Sun has been relatively quiet. But that changed yesterday when a large solar flare erupted on the surface of the Sun. This M-class flare burst continued for three hours, which is a very long duration of time. During the period, the flare blasted high volumes of electromagnetic radiation and its impact was felt even on Earth. Parts of Earth experienced brief radio blackouts which caused interference with airlines navigations and ham radio, according to NASA. Now, a new worry is whether the solar flare was Earth directed and the resultant solar storm can further impact our planet. Read on to find out. Also read: Jupiter’s composition reveal shocking facts! Here’s what study says

The long-duration solar flare eruption was observed by the Solar Dynamics Observatory of NASA, which has been monitoring and studying the Sun since 2010. In the early morning of June 14, it observed elevated energy levels and a significant shift in the wavelengths in a certain region of the Sun, confirming the solar flare. The SDO registered the solar flare as M3.4 class solar flare. For the unaware, solar flares are categorized into A, B, C, M and X. The first three are significantly small flares whose impact cannot be seen on the Earth. M is a medium solar flare while X is the largest and most dangerous flare. Also read: This largest ever NASA spacecraft, Europa Clipper, will look for Aliens on Jupiter’s Moon

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NASA: Giant solar flare goes off on Sun; causes radio blackouts

While it was not an X-class solar flare, it was still strong enough to cause temporary radio blackouts in the Asia-Pacific region. There are fears on whether the solar storm can hit the Earth. A solar storm brewing from an M-class flare may not cause severe damage, some disruption to GPS and navigation systems can be expected, which can cause problems for a number of industries and affect a part of Earth’s population.

Dr. Tamitha Skov, space weather physicist and popularly known as the space weather woman reported on the event. She tweeted, “Our #Sun wakes up big-time. A massive, partly Earth-directed #solarstorm launched yesterday should side-swipe Earth by midday June 15 according to NOAA/SWPC predictions. NASA predicts impact early on the same day. Expect mild #aurora to be extended by a fast #solar wind chaser”.

It appears that while a majority of the solar storm will not hit the Earth, it is likely to swipe glancing blows on the planet causing aurora display.



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Kashmir Scroll is an online news project started by the young journalists of Kashmir.

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