Solar storm watch: X-class solar flare impacts Earth, causes radio blackout over Pacific Ocean

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Over the past few days, the risk of a geomagnetic storm impacting the Earth has been increasing. The development comes just days after the strongest solar storm since 2017 hit the planet, causing a 9-hour-long geomagnetic storm. The Sun has become erratic in the past few months as it approaches the peak of the solar cycle at 25. At peak, solar phenomena such as solar particles, CMEs, solar flares, solar storms and geomagnetic storms are expected to increase in both frequency and duration. intensity Now, NASA, observing a solar storm, has revealed that a solar flare recently hit Earth, causing a radio blackout in the process.

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X-class solar flare threat

According to forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an X-class solar flare was ejected by the Sun via sunspot AR3615. This flare hits Earth, ionizing the upper part of its atmosphere. As a result, a shortwave radio blackout was observed over the Pacific Ocean on March 28.

Following this solar flare threat, a CME was also reported to originate from the same site where the X-class solar flares ejected. NOAA forecasters are reportedly modeling this data to predict a potential solar storm.

The report states, “Yesterday, the giant sunspot AR3615 produced another X1-class solar flare. An explosion at 2053 UT on March 28 ionized the upper part of Earth's atmosphere and caused a deep shortwave radio blackout over the Pacific Ocean: map. Of more interest is the emergence of a CME from the explosion site. NOAA analysts are modeling the CME to check for an Earth-directed component.

Also Read: Solar storm effects – Know the risk

Increase in solar activity

This solar flare effect occurs during the current Russell-McPherron effect due to the vernal equinox. This impact causes cracks in the Earth's magnetic field, allowing even the weak solar wind to pass through. But why does it happen? According to NASA, this is due to the semiannual variation in the effective southern portion of the interplanetary field. Thus, solar storms are mostly observed during this period.

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