Solar physicists have warned that the Sun may continue to produce strong Solar flares in the coming days due to a huge sunspot that is going to face Earth soon.
An X2 class solar flare hit Earth on Wednesday, affecting India and huge sections of Southeast Asia. The flare occurred between 9 a.m. and 10.30 a.m.
Due to a large sunspot that is expected to face Earth soon, solar scientists have cautioned that the Sun may continue to emit intense flares in the coming days. Telecommunications and satellite-based systems could be disrupted by these flares above India.
On Wednesday, an X2 class solar flare struck Earth, impacting India and large swaths of Southeast Asia. Between 9 a.m. and 10.30 a.m., a flare occurred.
Solar physicists have warned that the Sun may continue to produce strong flares in the coming days due to a huge sunspot that is expected to face Earth soon. Over India, these flares have the potential to disrupt telecommunications and satellite-based services.
An X2 class solar flare hit Earth on Wednesday, affecting India and wide sections of Southeast Asia. The flare occurred between 9 a.m. and 10.30 a.m. The sunspot number AR12992 was responsible for Wednesday’s solar flare, which lasted roughly 30 minutes and peaked at an intensity of 2.2 x 10-4 Watts / m2 at 9.27 IST.
Massive bursts of electromagnetic radiation erupt from the Sun’s surface, known as solar flares. They’re often linked to the Sun’s active regions, such as sunspots (the darker areas on the solar surface). Flares can last anywhere between a few minutes and several hours.
According to data acquired by the Centre of Excellence in Space Weather Sciences India (CESSI) at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Kolkata, this was the third X-class (highest intensity in Watts / m2) solar flare since April 15.
Although not all solar flares are dangerous, Earth-bound flares can disrupt telecommunications and GPS-based services, as well as satellite and space station operations – particularly on the sunlight side. High-frequency radio communications can be lost entirely or degraded in quality.
“When solar flares strike, they might cause ionisation in the lower ionospheric levels, leading in the loss of high-frequency radio transmissions,” Yoshita Baruah, a first-year PhD student at IISER in Kolkata, explained. Solar flares usually damage the 3 to 30 MHz radio spectrum, which is used for things like aviation and weather services.
The activities of the sunspot AR12992, which has rotated beyond the Sun’s edge as visible from Earth, will be observed during the next two weeks.
In 27 days, the Sun completes one full rotation and during the next two weeks, we need to see if any of these sunspots re-emerge,” added Buruah.
Since April 15, two X class and 13 M class (second highest intensity in Watts/m2) solar flares have been detected, according to CESSI researchers. Solar wind speeds have also climbed over the last three days, reaching 556 km/second on Wednesday. At the end of March, the Sun went through a similar active phase.
A Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) was also linked to the recent flare episode, according to Suvadip Sinha, a fifth-year PhD student at IISER Kolkata.
The CME is most likely to have come from the Sun’s southwestern limb, which is also where the plasma ejected. “However, the CME had little effect on Earth,” added Sinha, who has created a model to track CME’s the real-time magnetic field variations on the sun at CESSI.