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TechSolar flare may shutdown radio signals, cause blackouts this week

Solar flare may shutdown radio signals, cause blackouts this week

Published: 27th May 2021 5:43 pm

Hyderabad: As we are going through a global pandemic, the planet does not deserve more bad news. But just a few days ago, everyone’s favorite ball of fire in the sky had a bit of an outburst and millions of tonnes of super hot gas was ejected from the surface of the Sun and shot off towards Earth in what is known as coronal mass ejections (CME).

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Solar storms have proven to be quite disruptive in the past. The energy particles can also be damaging to electronic equipment and astronauts or passengers in high-flying aircraft and also can trigger radio blackouts. Such a Solar storm that could shut down radio signals and cause navigation blackouts might be heading our way. These catastrophic events are expected to peak around 2025 and it’s hoped the Solar Orbiter will observe them all as it aims to fly within 26 million miles of the sun.

The Sunspot labeled AR2824 let off a rapid-fire series of a dozen solar flares on May 22 unlike anything witnessed in years. Flares are bursts of electromagnetic light and energy at different wavelengths that reach Earth within minutes. The Earth’s magnetic field helps to protect us from the more extreme consequences of solar flares. Even the most powerful flares are barely detectable in the total solar irradiance.

The charged particles from eruptions arrive and end up producing beautiful auroras. These dazzling sky displays could be visible even in low-latitude areas. Not many people even felt the geomagnetic storm but scientists believe that this points to a worrying trend in the future – that the Sun is up and running after years of dormancy. The sun’s magnetic field goes through an 11-year cycle that affects the amount of activity on its surface.

Nasa previously explained, “The energy from a flare can disrupt the area of the atmosphere through which radio waves travel. This can lead to degradation and at worst temporary blackouts in navigation and communications signals.”

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