Recently NASA reported that a massive solar flare was emitted by the Sun, and it was the most powerful one since 2006. It seems to have made aurora visible in places not usually seen in the US and London.
This flare was one of two that were emitted on September 6th, and it was observed by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. One flare was much bigger than the other, but they both were reportedly quite large. According to NASA, these flares were emitted from an active region of the Sun known as AR 2673.
While this may not seem like something that you should be excited/concerned about, it is actually quite interesting! The timing for these flares is odd. You see, the Sun is currently heading towards the quieter period of its solar cycle and wouldn’t normally be doing this. Eruptions during this time are extremely rare.
“This is a phase when such eruptions on the Sun are increasingly rare, but history has shown that they can nonetheless be intense,” said NASA.
Right after all of this the Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) said that they were expecting to experience some radio blackouts in relation. These flares also seem to have been accompanied by CME which stands for coronal mass ejection. Particles from this CME can cause strong geomagnetic storms that can hamper communications here on earth. The CME is expected to arrive late on September 8th and should stay until early morning on September 9th.
The intensity of this storm also means that we can expect some pretty amazing aurora. People in Iceland and other Northern regions should expect a pretty impressive show, but incredibly, the light could be visible as far south as London!
What do you think about these solar flares and how do you think they will affect us? I for one hope all this passes with ease.
Featured Image Credit: NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) Goddard/SDO/NASA