Saturday, December 16, 2023

The largest solar flare in years momentarily interferes with Earth's radio transmissions

 CAPE CANAVERAL: The most recent observation by NASA reveals the largest solar flare in years, temporarily interfering with Earth's radio communication.

On Thursday, the sun transmitted a monstrous flare and a significant radio burst, causing a two-hour radio obstruction in different pieces of the US and sunlit locales universally. Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) say that this flare is the most significant one since 2017 and has had an even greater impact on higher frequencies.

It was one of the largest solar radio events ever recorded, according to Shawn Dahl of the Space Weather Prediction Center at NOAA. Scientists are keeping a close eye on the sunspot region for potential plasma outbursts, also known as coronal mass ejections, after multiple pilots reported communication problems across the country. If they were aimed at Earth, these ejections could cause a geomagnetic storm, which would disrupt high-frequency radio signals and increase the likelihood of seeing the northern lights, or auroras, in the coming days.

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which was launched in 2010, captured the event in extreme ultraviolet light, which occurred in the far northwest section of the sun. The space apparatus, in a high circle around Earth, continually screens the sun for such exercises.

Scientists continue to be on the lookout for new developments in solar activity as the sun approaches the end of its approximately 11-year solar cycle, with maximum sunspot activity anticipated for 2025.

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