Huge solar flare captured in stunning NASA image as it fires off from the sun
American Space Agency NASA has spotted a huge solar flare erupting from the side of the Sun which may be the result of a highly active solar area spinning in this direction. The agency has posted a video of the latest eruption on its website. It has been captured by Solar Dynamics Observatory on Sunday (July 31). The observatory also observed hot debris ejecting from the explosion site.
Solar flares are eruptions of electromagnetic radiation from the Sun that travel at the speed of light. In recent weeks, scientists have recorded many such flares, and warned about their impact on Earth. The solar flares contain extreme ultraviolet radiation and X-ray that, after coming into contact with the Earth’s ionosphere, can affect radio communication.
Ionosphere is the region in the atmosphere of the Earth that contains electrically-charged particles and radio waves use them to travel around the world. The solar flares can impact this communication. But, according to a report in Newsweek, the latest flare has been measured as C9.3 – a relatively weak classification. However, spaceweather.com said that the strength is likely to have been understated because it was partially blocked by the Sun’s edge.
The outlet further said that Earth is not in the direct line of fire of the latest solar flare, still the explosion is significant because it may herald an active region set to emerge over the sun’s northeastern limb later this week. A new sunspot group could bring an end to weeks of relative quiet, the outlet further said. Solar flares are classified as one of the four letters – B, C, M, and X – increasing the strength and has a subdivision ranging from 1 to 9. Generally, the flares that are M-class and above have any noticeable impact on Earth.
Solar flares erupt from areas on the Sun’s surface known as sunspots, where the magnetic field lines are so strong that heat cannot escape into space, leading to cooler, darker regions. Solar flares and other solar material eruptions like coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are emitted when these powerful magnetic field lines abruptly change. Sunspots can therefore be thought of as prospective solar activity zones.
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