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About The Solar Flare


Recently, an X-class solar flare was emitted by the Sun, causing disruptions in radio communications in certain areas. The flare has been classified as an X1.0 flare by NASA.


GS III: Science and Technology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About  Solar flares
  2. Impacts

About  Solar flares

  • Solar flares are magnetic plasma ejected from the Sun’s surface during the release of magnetic energy associated with sunspots.
  • Solar flares are classified on a logarithmic scale similar to the Richter scale.
  • The class denotes the strength of the flare, and the number that comes after it signifies their strength at a finer scale. Each class is divided into 9 subdivisions.
Categories of Solar Flares:

X-class Flares (Big):

  • These are the most powerful solar flares.
  • They have the potential to cause radio blackouts worldwide and long-lasting radiation storms in the upper atmosphere.
  • X-class flares are the largest and most impactful category.

M-class Flares (Medium-Sized):

  • These solar flares are of medium intensity.
  • They can cause brief radio blackouts, primarily affecting Earth’s polar regions.
  • Minor radiation storms may follow an M-class flare.

C-class Flares:

  • C-class flares are smaller in size compared to X- and M-class flares.
  • They generally have minimal consequences and do not cause significant disturbances on Earth.

A-class Flares:

  • A-class flares are the smallest solar flares.
  • They are often near background levels and have negligible effects on Earth.


 Solar flares can have significant impacts on various technological systems, including:

  • Radio Communications: They can disrupt or even completely black out radio communication systems, especially those that operate in the high-frequency bands.
  • Electric Power Grids: They can cause power outages and damage to transformers and other electrical equipment.
  • Navigation Signals: They can disrupt GPS signals, which are used for navigation by aircraft, ships, and other vehicles.
  • Spacecraft and Astronauts: They can pose risks to spacecraft and astronauts by exposing them to high levels of radiation, which can damage equipment and harm human health.

-Source: Down To Earth

December 2023