Tuesday, November 2, 2021

'SOLAR CHANGE': Massive Flares Predicted to Batter Earth: 'Direct Hit on Halloween' - NASA

Source: Express

Published: October 29, 2021

By: Jacob Paul

A solar is set to make a "direct hit" on Earth, according to experts after NASA warned of a "significant" eruption from the Sun.

A major solar flare erupted from the Sun yesterday in the strongest storm seen in the current weather cycle. It fired off what is known as an X1-class solar flare, the most powerful of its kind, that peaked at 3:30 pm, according to reports. NASA officials dubbed it a "significant solar flare," adding that it was captured in real-time video by the space agency's Solar Dynamics Observatory. The most powerful category of solar flars, “X-class flares” are based on a classification system that divides solar flares according to their strength. The smallest ones are A-class , followed by B, C, M and X.  

Now, a coronal mass ejection from the flare could batter Earth over the weekend.

A CME is a large eruption of charged particles coming from the flare.

When these enter the atmosphere where satellites lie, power outages and widespread communications failures are a significant worry.

It has already wreaked some havoc, causing a temporary but strong radio blackout on the sun-lit section of South America.

Space weather forecaster the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported that the R3 (Strong radio blackout) event took place as a result of an "impulsive flare". that "appeared to have coronal mass ejection (CME) related signatures".

A solar storm is said to be heading to Earth (Image: GETTY)

Solar flare (Image: PA)

And that could spell bad news, with more chaos reportedly on the way.

Space weather forecasters at Spaceweather.com said that the CME is racing towards Earth. at 1260 km/s (2.8 million mph).

It is predicted that it may strike the Earth by Saturday or Sunday. 

Dr Tamitha Skov, a space weather physicist, said on Twitter: "A direct hit for Halloween! The solar storm launched during the X-flare today is indeed Earth-directed!

"NASA predictions confirm impact by early October 31. 

"Expect aurora to mid-latitudes, as well as GPS reception issues and amateur radio disruptions on Earth's nightside!"

But while X-class flares represent the most intense category of Sun flares, the number indicates the strength of the X-category flare.

Power outages are a worry if the storm hits a satellite (Image: Getty)

Luckily, X-1 is ranked the least powerful, so we should be grateful that we don't have an X-2 that is twice as intense, or even an X-10, 10 times as intense as the storm heading to Earth right now.

But even a minor storm has the ability to cause chaos if it comes directly into contact with a satellite.

While the CME launched into space on October 28 from an exploding sunspot, a G-3 rated (ranked from 1-5 in strength) geomagentic storm is also expected to strike Earth's geomagnetic field. 

Read more at: Express.co.uk
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