A rogue sunspot unleashed a pair of solar flares on Monday (April 25), causing radio outages throughout Asia and Australia.
According to spaceweather.com, the sunspot AR2993 exploded with two M1 flares in quick succession. M-class flares are moderate-sized flares that can disrupt some radio frequencies and occasionally expose astronauts in orbit to higher-than-usual doses of radiation.
Sunspot AR2993 is “middling in size,” according to solar physicist Dean Pesnell of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, but it covers hundreds of millions of square miles, making Earth as comfortable as an egg in a nest in the active region.
Sunspots are locations on the Sun where the magnetic field is temporarily significantly stronger than it is elsewhere. Sunspots are substantially cooler than their surroundings because magnetic forces restrict the flow of hot gas from the Sun’s center. When the magnetic field lines surrounding sunspots rearrange explosively, solar flares occur.
These radiation eruptions can also cause coronal mass ejections (CMEs), which are plasma explosions on the Sun.
The Sun has had a busy few weeks, with many active sunspots emitting flares. Solar activity follows an 11-year pattern that has been observed since 1775. Solar Cycle 25 is currently underway, and the Sun is increasing its activity.
The frequency of sunspots, solar flares, and CMEs is predicted to increase when Solar Cycle 25 reaches its peak in late 2024 or early 2025.
Some of those flares and CMEs are anticipated to be more powerful than the Sun’s recent double-M1 flares. A separate sunspot (AR2992) exploded with a spectacular X-class flare just last week, on April 19 and 20.
X-flares are ten times more intense than M-class flares, and they can generate radiation storms that impair satellites, radio communications, and even the Earth’s power infrastructure. Fortunately, Earth was spared the brunt of last week’s X-flare since the sunspot was not directly facing the globe.
Large solar flares and CMEs can also cause beautiful auroras to appear farther south than usual from Earth’s poles. Solar particles collide with the magnetic fields that surround Earth, causing air molecules in the upper atmosphere to become excited and emit photons of light. What’s the result? Changing light curtains in greens, blues, and pinks.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Space Weather Prediction Center has aurora forecasts as the Sun continues to remain disturbed.
Solar activity includes flares, coronal mass ejections, high-speed solar wind, and solar energetic particles, according to NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration). All solar activity is propelled by the magnetic field of the sun.
According to spaceweather.com, a massive shortwave radio blackout occurred on April 17 across Southeast Asia and Australia as a result of an X-ray pulse from the flare: At lower frequencies than 30 MHz. Mariners, aviators, and amateur radio operators may have noticed unusual propagation effects, according to the report.
For more details and updates visit themarketactivity.com.