Wednesday, 22 November, 2017

Auroras seen due to solar flare

The sun just belched out the strongest solar flare in 12 years Sun unleashes monster solar flare
Garry Little | 10 September, 2017, 08:10

An active region on the sun has been sending flares toward the Earth since Monday.

Watching on the morning of Wednesday 6 September, the space agency's 'Solar Dynamics Observatory' captured images of a particularly active region on the sun firing off the fourth and fifth "sizeable" flares in the last week. Both are created when the sun's interior contorts its own magnetic fields-as the magnetic field snaps like a rubber band it releases a huge amount of energy into space.

CMS and solar flares are different phenomena but often occur at the same time when it comes to the strongest solar flares. It turns out, you can actually use the glasses to spot a common - yet fascinating - feature of the sun. These radiation flares, which can disrupt communications satellites, Global Positioning System and power grids by reaching the upper Earth atmosphere, were detected and captured by the US Space Agency's Solar Dynamics Observatory.

According to Sansa, the burst of radiation was so intense, it caused high-frequency radio blackouts on the daytime side of Earth, affecting high-frequency communication over Africa, Europe, and the Atlantic Ocean. Flares are associated with something called coronal mass ejections, when high-energy plasma is sent out into space. This is the phase where eruptions from the sun become increasingly rare.

The first flare was seen at 6:15 a.m. EDT and the second, larger flare, peaked at 10:36 a.m. EDT Sept. 7, NASA reported. The sun released two solar flares this week. The next solar minimum is expected at some point between 2019 and 2020. In fact, the Sun has a roughly 11-year sunspot cycle - the result of the its changing magnetic field.

But the last few solar cycle have been baffling scientists. Because of this, the Sun alternates between two periods: solar maximum - when sunspots are much more frequent on the Sun's surface - and solar minimum - when the Sun's surface is relatively sunspot free.

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