On Tuesday night, an unstable sunspot triggered a massive solar flare, causing radio blackouts across vast areas on our planet. Regions from Southeast Asia and Australia were affected by the event.
The information comes from WION, while Space.com backs it up. The solar flare was triggered from the sunspot region designated as AR3575, and it erupted on Monday at 8:30 pm EST (0130 GMT on Feb 6), according to Keith Strong, a solar physicist. The solar flare peaked at 10:15 EST (0315 GMT).
CME was also reported
The eruption from the Sun’s surface also triggered coronal mass ejections (CME), meaning huge bubbles of coronal plasma that are threaded by intense magnetic field lines released from the Sun. Depending on their direction and intensity. CMEs can pose various levels of danger, such as power grid disruptions, satellite damage, impact on the magnetosphere of the Earth, radiation hazards to astronauts, and airline communication and navigation.
Keith Strong wrote:
Spectacular Long-duration M4 Flare Still in progress. It started at 01:30 UT and peaked at 03:15. At 03:50 UT it is still at M2 level. It definitely launched a CME that may affect Earth with a geomagnetic storm, but the region isa long way south on the Sun so could pass under us.
Spectacular Long-duration M4 Flare Still in progress. It started at 01:30 UT and peaked at 03:15. At 03:50 UT it is still at M2 level. It definitely launched a CME that may affect Earth with a geomagnetic storm, but the region isa long way south on the Sun so could pass under us. pic.twitter.com/jBOcyI8bKp
— Keith Strong (@drkstrong) February 6, 2024
Widespread radio blackouts took place as a result of the solar flare, as the intense pulse of X-rays and high ultraviolet radiation did their job. Just about eight minutes were enough for the radiation to arrive on Earth.
While smaller CMEs usually cause only minor disruptions, larger and more intense events of this kind have the power to trigger significant damage to infrastructure dependent on technology and even pose risks to human health and safety.