Sun emits massive solar flare with potential to impact satellite communications
Washington, Apr 20: The sun unleashed a massive solar flare on Wednesday, which has the potential to impact satellite communications and global positioning systems, the Centre of Excellence in Space Sciences India (CESSI) said.
The X2.2 class solar flare eruption took place at 3:57 UTC (9.27 IST) from the solar magnetic active region AR12992, Dibyendu Nandi, Associate Professor and Coordinator of CESSI at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata said.
Solar flares are powerful bursts of energy that can impact radio communications, electric power grids, navigation signals, and pose risks to spacecraft and astronauts.
This flare is classified as an X-Class which denotes the most intense flares, while the number provides more information about its strength.
Strong ionospheric perturbation is ongoing over India, South East Asia and the Asia-Pacific regions. Expected high frequency communication blackouts, satellite anomalies, GPS scintillations, airline communication impacts, the CESSI said on Twitter.
Nandi said the CESSI had predicted the eruption of an X-Class flare on April 18. He said the scientists at CESSI were studying the impact of the flare.
According to NASA, the biggest flares are known as 'X-class flares' based on a classification system that divides solar flares according to their strength.
The smallest ones are A-class (near background levels), followed by B, C, M and X, it said.
According to NASA, similar to the Richter scale for earthquakes, each letter represents a 10-fold increase in energy output. An X class flare is ten times an M class eruption and 100 times a C class flare.