The eight strongest flares on the Sun: problems have already arisen on Earth, but there will be more (video)

Scientists believe this is just the beginning and we should expect another set of powerful radiation emissions.

Observing the Sun, the Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft recorded the appearance of eight very powerful solar flares on our star simultaneously. Space writes that one of them caused a brief radio blackout over the Atlantic Ocean on Wednesday, December 14.

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On December 14, 2022, eight very powerful M-class solar flares occurred on the Sun. But scientists speculate that a new sunspot called AR3165 may be preparing another set of flares of the same strength, and perhaps even more power. Sunspot AR3165 is growing and has already recorded strong energy emissions, according to scientists watching space weather.

Solar flares are bursts of electromagnetic radiation that travel through space at the speed of light. If they fly towards Earth, that is, if the source of the flashes is directed to our planet, this radiation will reach Earth in 8 minutes. Scientists already know that one of the M6-class flares caused a burst of radiation that quickly reached Earth on Wednesday, December 14, causing a brief radio blackout over the Atlantic Ocean.

According to scientists, all 8 cartridges belong to the M class and these were M2, M3 and M6 class cartridges. According to the classification of solar flares, they all belong to five different classes, and class M is one of the strongest radiation emissions.

The next class of solar flares is class X. This is the most dangerous type of flare for Earth, since such radiation can cause long-term malfunctions of communication and navigation systems. Scientists estimate that 8 solar flares are just the beginning and class X emissions can also be expected in the near future.

Sunspot AR3165 is one of the active regions on the Sun, which are darker and cooler regions in our star’s lower atmosphere. A huge amount of energy is released here due to the movements of the magnetic field lines.

But it often happens that flares in the Sun not only emit the strongest radiation, but also accompany coronal mass ejections. These are huge streams of plasma blasting into space, but they fly much slower and can reach Earth in 2-3 days. Such plasma streams cause even more problems on Earth if the sunspot is facing our planet. When these particles reach Earth, they stop causing geomagnetic storms that can damage the operation of the planet’s power systems and orbiting satellites. The stronger the solar flare, the larger the plasma eruption.

According to scientists, none of the eight solar flares so far have been accompanied by a coronal mass ejection. But everything could change with the emergence of new flares on the Sun that should appear in the coming days, and they’re predicted to be both M-class and possibly X-class.

As for the serial numbers given in the name of the classes of solar flares, they indicate the strength of such an eruption on a ten-point scale. However, it is worth noting that, for example, an M9 class flare will be ten times weaker than an X1 class flare.

Focus He has already written that a coronal hole has recently appeared in the Sun, which blasts out into space a huge stream of plasma flying towards Earth at incredible speed.

Moreover Focus He wrote that China has completed the construction of the world’s largest solar telescope, which will make observations of our star.

Solar flares, in addition to causing problems on Earth, can also affect the operation of satellite devices, as mentioned above, but also adversely affect the operation of the ISS. But Focus He had already written that a new problem arose not because of solar activity at the orbital station. In any case, this problem prevented astronauts from going into space.

Source: Focus


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