The sun shoots at least eight solar flares towards the earth

At least eight solar flares have been fired toward Earth — and more could follow — after a crackling sunspot appeared on the sun’s surface this week.

Our star has seen increased activity in 2022, after it released its strongest solar flare in five years in April.

It appears to be moving into a particularly active period of its 11-year activity cycle, which began in 2019 and is expected to peak in 2025.

One of the most recent solar flares caused a brief radio outage over the Atlantic Ocean when it hit Earth at 14:42 GMT (09:42 ET) yesterday (Wednesday), according to SpaceWeather.com.

Solar belch: At least eight solar flares have been fired toward Earth — and more could follow — after a sunspot crackled on the sun’s surface this week. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft captured this snapshot of a solar flare that erupted yesterday

What is mass ejaculation?

Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are large clouds of plasma and magnetic field that erupt from the Sun.

These clouds can erupt in any direction, and then continue in that direction, plowing through the solar wind.

These clouds cause effects on the Earth only when they are directed at the Earth.

They tend to be much slower than solar flares, because they transfer a greater amount of matter.

Coronal mass ejections can occur when a storm on the Sun’s surface causes a whirlwind to form at the base of rings of plasma that shoot off the surface.

These rings are called protrusions and when they become unstable they can break, releasing the CME into space.

Solar flares—bursts of electromagnetic radiation that travel at the speed of light—usually reach our planet within eight minutes of leaving the sun’s atmosphere.

The strongest category is the X flares, followed by the M category, which is what most of the new categories have been.

Such was the excitement of Wednesday’s activity that it prompted some experts to take to Twitter.

“Three more flares: M6, M3 and M2 all from AR3165,” said solar physicist Keith Strong.

This makes 8 M flares so far today. It seems to be getting bigger, will X light up in the near future? Stay tuned.’

AR3165 that Mr. Strong tweeted about is a sunspot – a dark region of the Sun where it is cooler than other parts of the surface – that recently appeared on the visible disk of our star.

Solar flares originate near these dark regions of the star, releasing energy.

They are sometimes associated with coronal mass ejections (CMEs), which tend to cause more disruption to technology on Earth, but so far there is no evidence that this new activity involves any CMEs.

These mass ejections tend to be much slower than solar flares, because they move a greater amount of matter, but they only have an effect on our planet when they are directed in its direction.

Coronal mass ejections can occur when a storm on the Sun’s surface causes a whirlwind to form at the base of rings of plasma that shoot off the surface.

These rings are called protrusions and when they become unstable they can break, releasing the CME into space.

Flares and large defensive fires also have different effects on the ground. The energy from the flare can disrupt the region of the atmosphere through which radio waves travel, potentially causing a temporary outage in navigation and communications signals.

On the other hand, the CME has the ability to move the Earth’s magnetic fields, creating currents that push particles down toward the Earth’s poles.

When it reacts with oxygen and nitrogen, it helps create the aurora borealis, also known as the northern and southern lights.

One of the most recent solar flares caused a brief radio outage over the Atlantic Ocean when it hit Earth at 14:42 GMT (09:42 ET) yesterday (Wednesday), according to SpaceWeather.com.

One of the most recent solar flares caused a brief radio outage over the Atlantic Ocean when it hit Earth at 14:42 GMT (09:42 ET) yesterday (Wednesday), according to SpaceWeather.com.

AR3165 is a sunspot - a dark region of the Sun where it is cooler than other parts of the surface - that appeared recently on the visible disk of our star.  Solar flares originate near these dark regions of the star, releasing energy

AR3165 is a sunspot – a dark region of the Sun where it is cooler than other parts of the surface – that appeared recently on the visible disk of our star. Solar flares originate near these dark regions of the star, releasing energy

Solar flares—bursts of electromagnetic radiation that travel at the speed of light—usually reach our planet within eight minutes of leaving the sun's atmosphere.  Pictured here is an image taken by the Solar Orbiter

Solar flares—bursts of electromagnetic radiation that travel at the speed of light—usually reach our planet within eight minutes of leaving the sun’s atmosphere. Pictured here is an image taken by the Solar Orbiter

In addition, magnetic changes can affect a variety of human technologies, causing GPS coordinates to stray by a few yards and overloading power grids when power companies aren’t ready.

There has been no major flare or solar flare in the modern world – the most recent being the Carrington event in 1859 – which produced a geomagnetic storm with the aurora visible globally, as well as fires at telegraph stations.

The April flare–the most powerful in this solar cycle–caused no damage to Earth, nor did it affect our satellites and power grid.

But scientists worry that the sun’s increased activity could lead to potentially dangerous solar weather that could damage electrical grids, disable satellites, and harm astronauts and space equipment on the International Space Station.

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Solar storms are a clear danger to the stars and can damage satellites

solar stormsor solar activity, can be divided into Four major components Which could have impacts on Earth:

  • Solar flaresA large explosion in the sun’s atmosphere. These flares are made of photons that travel directly from the location of the flare. Solar flares only affect Earth when they occur on the side of the Sun facing Earth.
  • Coronary mass ejaculation (CME’s)Large clouds of plasma and magnetic field emanating from the Sun. These clouds can erupt in any direction, and then continue in that direction, plowing through the solar wind. These clouds cause effects on the Earth only when they are directed at the Earth.
  • High-speed solar wind currents: These come from coronal holes in the sun, which form anywhere on the sun and usually only when close to the solar equator winds affect the earth.
  • solar particles: high-energy charged particles that are thought to be released primarily by shocks formed in coronal mass ejection fronts and solar flares. When the CME cloud plows through the solar wind, solar particles can be produced and because they are charged, they follow the magnetic field lines between the Sun and the Earth. Only charged particles that follow the magnetic field lines that criss-cross the Earth will have an effect.

While these may seem dangerous, astronauts are not in immediate danger from these phenomena due to the relatively low orbit of manned missions.

However, they have to worry about cumulative exposure during spacewalks.

This image shows the coronal holes of the Sun in X-ray form.  The solar outer atmosphere, the corona, is made up of strong magnetic fields, which when closed can cause gas bubbles and magnetic fields to suddenly and violently eject, called a coronal mass ejection.

This image shows the coronal holes of the Sun in X-ray form. The outer solar atmosphere, the corona, is made up of strong magnetic fields, which when closed can cause bubbles or tongues of gas to be released and magnetic fields called coronal mass ejections.

Damage caused by solar storms

Solar eruptions can destroy satellites and have a huge financial cost.

Charged particles can also threaten airlines by disturbing the Earth’s magnetic field.

Flares that are too large can create currents within power grids and cut off power supplies.

When coronal mass ejections hit Earth they cause geomagnetic storms and enhanced aurorae.

They can disrupt radio waves and GPS coordinates and overload electrical systems.

A large surge of power can flow into high-voltage power grids and permanently damage transformers.

This could lead to the closure of businesses and homes around the world.

Source: NASA – Solar Storm and Space Weather

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