A huge explosion on the Sun leads to a powerful solar flare

(ORDO NEWS) — During the Catholic Easter weekend, a powerful solar flare occurred on the Sun, causing radio blackouts and setting the stage for new solar storms.

According to the U.S. Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC), operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the solar flare peaked at 03:34 GMT on April 17, followed by a massive eruption on the Sun minutes later, known as a coronal ejection. masses.

The flare was registered as a class X1.1 solar storm (class X storms are the most powerful on the Sun) and lasted about 34 minutes, SWPC said.

According to SWPC, the flare occurred in regions 2994 and 2993, a cluster of active sunspots that “significantly flared” after appearing on the Sun’s eastern limb.

“Solar activity is expected to continue over the next week as these sunspots migrate across the visible disk,” the agency said in an update.

The Easter solar flare caused a brief radio outage and was classified as a type II solar radio burst, according to SWPC.

“Such bursts are due to shock waves at the leading edges of the flares,” wrote astronomer Tony Phillips. Since the eruption occurred on the easternmost limb of the Sun, the coronal mass ejection generated by it is most likely not directed towards Earth, writes Phillips.

X-class solar flares are the most intense types of storms on the Sun. The weakest solar flares are class A flares; Class B and C outbreaks are also relatively mild.

More powerful class M and higher flares can enhance the aurora borealis on Earth, and the strongest class X flares can pose a danger to satellites and astronauts in orbit if directed directly at Earth.

Easter weekend solar flares came after an X1.3 class solar storm on March 30 and several C and M class flares in various sunspot regions in recent weeks.

The Sun is currently in an increasingly active phase of its 11-year solar weather cycle (the current cycle is known as the 25th solar cycle and began in 2019). NASA, SWPC and other solar weather scientists monitor space weather on the Sun with a number of spacecraft such as NASA’s Solar Dynamics Orbiter, NASA-European Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) and others.

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