HomeScience & TechSolar Flare Triggers Radio Blackouts Across Pacific Region

Solar Flare Triggers Radio Blackouts Across Pacific Region

A recent powerful solar flare originating from sunspot region AR3654 caused widespread radio blackouts across the Pacific region. The eruption, which lasted for 12 minutes on April 30, released near X-class solar flares, the most potent type. Solar flares are associated with sunspots, where magnetic fields are strongest.

According to NASA, solar flares occur when powerful magnetic fields in and around the Sun reconnect, releasing magnetic energy that builds up in the solar atmosphere. These flares are classified based on their strength, with X-class flares being the most powerful, followed by M-class, C-class, and B-class flares.

The April 30 flare, measuring M9.53, was just below an X-class solar flare, ionizing the upper atmosphere upon hitting Earth. Mariners and ham radio operators experienced signal loss below 20 MHz for up to 30 minutes after the flare’s peak.

The eruption from sunspot region AR3654 marked the most powerful event from this area to date, prompting solar scientist Alex Young to note its significance.

Solar flares, which travel at the speed of light, can impact spacecraft, satellites, and ground-based stations. Agencies like NASA, NOAA, and the US Air Force Weather Agency closely monitor the Sun to detect and assess such events.

Despite their potential to disrupt technological systems, NASA experts emphasize that so-called “killer flares” do not exist. While solar flares can cause significant damage on Earth, they lack the energy required to inflict lasting harm on the planet itself.

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