Solar physicists have warned that the sun could continue to send powerful flares in the coming days because of a large sunspot expected to be pointed toward Earth soon. Such flares could damage telecommunications and satellite-based services across India.
An intense solar flare (X2-class) struck Earth on Wednesday, hitting India and much of South Asia. The eruption occurred between 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Sunspot number AR12992 triggered Wednesday’s flare, which peaked at 9.27 IST and lasted about 30 minutes, with an intensity of 2.2 x 10-4 Watt/m2.
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“A severe ionospheric disturbance is currently affecting India, Southeast Asia and the Asia-Pacific region.” From CESSIAan organization associated with the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research.”
The Class M eruption earlier this morning of solar AR 12993 resulted in moderate ionospheric disturbances; high-frequency communications outages are expected to be localized in the Asia-Pacific region, as estimated by the @NWSSWPC DRAP model. pic.twitter.com/yYuZt1bHFZ
— Center of Excellence in Space Sciences India (@cessi_iiserkol) April 21, 2022
Solar flares are huge bursts of electromagnetic radiation emanating from the sun’s surface. They are often associated with the sun’s active areas, such as sunspots.
While not all flares are harmful, terrestrial flares can disrupt telecommunications and navigation services and disrupt the processes of satellites and space stations, especially on the sunlight side. High-frequency radio signals can be completely lost or distorted.
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Two X-class and 13 M-class solar flares have been reported since April 15, according to physicists at CESSI. The solar wind direction has also increased over the past few nights, reaching 556 km/second on Wednesday. The sun went through a similarly active period in late March.
COVER IMAGE: NASA