Solar Storm to Hit Earth Next Week: NASA Reports Strongest Flares in Years on Sun
NASA observed the strongest solar flares in recent years on Friday. The effects will also be felt on Earth next week: when solar particles reach the Earth, they can disrupt power grids and communication systems.
Solar flares are powerful releases of energy. Flares and solar eruptions can affect radio communications, power grids, navigation signals and pose a risk to spacecraft and astronauts on Earth.
This flare is classified as an X3.3 flare. The X class denotes the strongest flares, while the number gives more information about its strength.
The sun emitted a powerful solar flare. It peaked at 8:14 a.m. EDT on 9 February 2024. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which constantly monitors the Sun, captured an image of the event.
The Sun always goes through phases in which it is sometimes more and sometimes less active. An important key to their activity is the magnetic structures on the surface of the Sun, which are often associated with sunspots. Like a kind of solar conveyor belt, huge plasma flows move these magnetic fields from the equator to the solar poles over several years and thus create the solar magnetic field that shapes the next solar cycle. At the poles, the plasma sinks into the depths and returns to the equator.
The solar cycle lasts about eleven years. Since December 2019, the Sun's activity has been increasing again, with maximum particle storms expected in 2025.
You can also be in space in the blink of an eye by joining NASA's live broadcast from the space station.