A three-hour solar flare from the Sun on Monday June 13 released a large amount of charged particles in the form of solar radiation.
As a result, a geomagnetic storm and radio blackout are likely to strike Earth again, causing disruption to radio frequencies and satellite signals.
The solar event was originally observed by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO).
Additionally, NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) has also observed said phenomenon, issuing a geomagnetic storm watch for Wednesday, June 15.
The extended duration of the solar storm is estimated to have generated a substantial amount of particles to cause enough damage to our planet’s global positioning and communications (GPS) technologies, which have been affected in previous events.
While radiation storms primarily threaten biological organisms, magnetic storms and power outages affect aircraft, devices and equipment, which rely on technology where radio and satellites are anchored.
This is made possible because outbursts of solar activity disturb the planet’s magnetosphere.
In recent months, solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs) have led to several instances of technological disruption in different parts of the world, including Australia, Asia, and Europe.
(Photo: Photo by NASA/Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) via Getty Images)
The SWPC issued a Minor Geomagnetic Storm Watch G1 (G1 Watch) and this came after a CME related to the solar flare was classified as having the intensity of a Minor R1 Radio Blackout, which occurred produced at 4:07 UTC Monday.
Under the watch, the SWPC said approaching space storms will likely pass through our magnetosphere with a “positive-polarity coronal hole.”
The combined impact will produce a “G1-Minor storming”.
The solar flare itself had a recorded strength of M3.4, which is considered a “medium” class under a three-level scale when scientists classify these solar flares into three classes: C, M and X, C being the weakest level and X being the strongest, quoted by Space.com.
The different categorization means that X-class solar flares are considered the most powerful.
In April 2001, the “largest solar flare in recorded history” was captured by the SOHO (Solar and Heliospheric Observatory) satellite.
The solar outburst came from the northwest limb of the Sun, traveling at a speed of 7.2 million kilometers per hour, according to Nasa.
Read also : Solar tsunami blast headed towards Earth after sun-emitted C3 eruption
Space weather disruptions
Levels of space weather disturbance or solar storm hazard are based on the NOAA Space Weather Scales.
For geomagnetic storms, G1-Minor is the weakest and G-5 Extreme is the strongest, primarily affecting navigation signals.
On the other hand, Radio Blackouts has R1-Minor as its lowest level and R5-Extreme as its highest level, targeting both low and high radio frequencies.
Finally, solar radiation storms were classified as S1-Minor being the smallest and S5-Extreme being the largest.
Besides its biological effects on animals and humans. These types of hazards can also affect satellite operations.
These space weather measurements are similar to climatic and geological events on Earth when various agencies rank the strength of hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, etc.
Related article: Solar Storm Warning: X1 Solar Flare Reported May 10, Radio Outage Alert Issued
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