Saturday, August 6, 2011

Sun Recently Unleashed Solar Flare - August 5

The sun unleashed a massive solar flare last Thursday. The coronal mass ejection (CME) registered M9.3 on the Ritcher scale of flares, about the highest level in the "medium" category. A CME this enormous was never seen before, said astrophysicist Philip Chamberlain of NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO).
The Earth's magnetosphere is the reqion around our planet that's being controlled by a magnetic field. If the sun's charged particles known as the solar storm reaches our planet, this can create  extra currents on our magnetic field and can infiltrate high-voltage transmission lines. This can cause overheating of transformers and possible burn out.

What can cause global radio blackouts is the larger flares that fall into the category "X" if one of them reaches Earth.

The sun is at the peak of the 11-year solar cycle and the danger it brings is becoming critical.Magnetic messiness is said to peak around in late 2013 or early 2014. Chamberlain said that extreme flares will probably be seen every couple of months instead of years.

If the powerful flares reaches Earth, the charged particles will pound satellite components and may potentially cripple the system.

“Space weather really is everybody’s business, and the sun has an activity cycle very much like the hurricane season,” Bogdan said. “The sun’s season is about 12 years long, and we’re just coming up to the next maximum in solar activity, so we expect to be seeing more of these storms coming from the sun over the next three to five years.” Moreover, Bogdan also said that if the current wave is strong enough the increasing frequency of solar storms could induce an Aurora that would be visible in the mainland United States.
The M9-class solar flare of August 4th produced a burst of shortwave static so powerful that receivers on Earth picked it up after sunset. “A RadioJove observer in Florida recorded the burst when the sun was 38 degrees below the horizon,” reports amateur radio astronomer Thomas Ashcraft. Ashcraft’s own radio telescope in New Mexico recorded the event 1 hour and 54 minutes after sunset. “To my knowledge, receptions like this are very rare,” says Ashcraft. -Space Weather

Related Article:
Solar Flare


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