Active region on sun continues to emit solar flares

08 September, 2017, 00:43 | Author: Lorena Waters
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Solar cycles last on average eleven years.

The images were captured by Nasa's Solar Dynamics Observatory.

The merger of the two largest groups of sunspots was the most powerful flare in the past 12 years. If they become too entangled, the stored energy is released in the form of a solar flare. Large flares can create an event called a coronal mass ejection (CME), when the sun releases plasma from itself.

The Solar storm could damage the radio communications and plane flights according to Tamitha Skov, who supervises space weather. "We're not having X-flares every day for a week, for instance - the activity is less frequent but no less potentially strong".

The first September 6 event is classified as an X2.2 flare, and the second is an X9.3 flare. This wavelength shows material in flares at temperatures over 10,000,000 Kelvin (18,000,000 Fahrenheit [10,000,000 Celsius]).

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"The details of solar flares remain somewhat elusive in the sense that we still can't predict when they'll happen, but we can at least tell when a sunspot has a particular magnetic field configuration that can harbor powerful solar flares", astrophysicist Karl Battams said. They are measured on a scale from one to nine in C, M and X classes.

"This is a decade-class flare".

This morning (Sept. 7), the SWPC issued a new G3 (strong) geomagnetic storm watch "in anticipation of the arrival of another CME associated with the X9.3 flare" seen on Wednesday.

Also, the flares can cause throw out people's internal clocks.

Two high-intensity solar flares were emitted on Wednesday, the second of which was the most intense recorded since the start of this sun cycle in December 2008, NASA said. The flare was so strong it was able to cause shortwave radio blackouts over Africa, Europe, and across the Atlantic Ocean. The result is superheating of the sun's surface coupled with a blast of energy that triggers radiation storms in the Earth's atmosphere. The most recent CME is expected to hit the Earth sometime late on September 6.



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