This strongest solar flare in 5 years blasted off on the Sun last week, NASA revealed. By sheer luck, Earth escaped the wrath of it this time, but the future might as well be frightening.
Last week, something strange happened. On April 19th, NASA reported that an extremely strong X-class solar flare was unleashed on the surface of the Sun. The solar flare was later measured to be at X2.2. The interesting thing about it was that it was the strongest solar flare in five years to have been set off on the Sun. The luck was on the Earth’s side and miraculously, we escaped the solar flare narrowly. But instead of being happy, scientists are now concerned because this solar flare has told them how dangerous the coming days can be. Read on to find out.
Space Weather Live tweeted on this incident. It said, “Today’s X2.2 solar flare is the strongest solar flare of the current Solar Cycle thus far. It peaked at 03:57 UTC and came from sunspot region 2992 which is rounding the western limb. The eruption was fairly impulsive and the resulting CME is not earth-directed”. The solar flare was so strong, that even as no geomagnetic storm struck the Earth, radio blackouts were experienced throughout Asia and Australia. Shortwave communication and aviation navigation systems were disrupted causing financial damage and inconvenience for many. But this happened when the solar storm was not even directed at the Earth. What happens when it is?
NASA: The strongest solar flare in five years set off on Sun
The solar flare is an indication of the fact we already know. The solar maximum is approaching and as days go by, the solar activities and emergence of sunspots are going to be commonplace. But the increase is not just going to be of the frequency but also the intensity. Last week, two X-class solar flares were reported by NASA, another first in the last five years. When X-class solar flares release coronal mass ejection (CME) towards the Earth, the resultant solar storms can be so severe that it can take out satellites, cause power failures as well as mobile network and internet services disruption.
It is likely that the Earth will be faced with similar solar challenges in the near future. How bad they can really be is something we will have to wait to find out.