Home Science & Tech NASA Records The Biggest Solar Flare In Years: The Sun Might Be ‘Waking Up’

NASA Records The Biggest Solar Flare In Years: The Sun Might Be ‘Waking Up’

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by Conscious Reminder

The giant orb has reportedly produced an M-class solar flare on 29th May 2020, largest since October 2017.

A solar flare occurs when the Sun increases activity on its surface. It can include explosions of energy caused by a fluctuation in magnetic forces near the sunspots.

The increased activity can cause various effects in space and Earth, from satellite damage, radio connectivity, to change in energy grids.

The M-class classification ranks second to the highest, which is the X-class. The lower three are A-class, B-class, and C-class. B-class is ten times more powerful than A-class, and as the class gets higher, the power increases tenfold more. In October 2003, an increased solar flare caused sensors at X28 to malfunction.

A C-class solar flare followed the M-class solar flare, which reportedly caused a radio blackout. Many series of smaller solar flares have been reported since.

However, the scientists say that the Sun’s solar activity is at ‘solar minimum’ now, but is expected to rise. If the solar flares cross the minimum level, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will warn through space weather forecasts. Meanwhile, scientists are still deliberating ways to protect astronauts, satellites orbiting in outer space, and Earth’s global radio connections.

The observation period is long. In order to come to any conclusions, scientists require at least six months. During this time, they will observe any solar activity and change in the sunspots’ dimensions. It roughly takes another year to determine whether the solar flares have passed for good or not. 

Earth’s closest star has a cycle of 11 years. And activities are expected to fluctuate over the cycle, but it also means a heavy impact on Earth as a chain reaction, depending on the intensity of the solar flare.

Spotted through a spacecraft, NASA predicts the M-class sun flare to be only the beginning of a more intense solar activity phase of the Sun. Change in sunspots can also cause heavy radiation in the Earth’s atmosphere.

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