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:
- About Solar flares
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 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 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