A major solar flare erupted from the sun on Thursday (October 28) in the strongest storm to date in our star’s current weather cycle.
The sun set off an X1-class solar flare, its strongest type of flare, at 11:17 a.m. EDT (3:17 p.m. GMT), according to an alert from the US Space Weather Prediction Group, which tracks weather events. space.
The group warned that the eruption could cause a radio communication failure over a large area for high-frequency signals for about an hour. âThe impact zone consists of large parts of the sunny side of the Earth, the strongest at the sub-solar point,â he wrote in an email alert.
Related: Wrath of the Sun: The Worst Solar Storms in History
The strongest Class X flares can interfere with radio and satellite communications and overload the planet’s aurora displays when directed directly at Earth and accompanied by a massive flare of solar particles, called coronal mass ejection. . Such eruptions send charged particles from the sun at 1 million mph (1.6 million km / h) or more, and typically take a few days to reach Earth.
Thursday’s eruption appeared to originate from a sunspot called AR2887 currently positioned in the center of the sun and facing Earth, depending on its location. The sunspot was responsible for two moderate M-class solar flares earlier in the day, according to SpaceWeather.com, which also tracks the daily sun weather.
The coronal mass ejection of an AR2887 surge on Tuesday could bring a “peek” to Earth on Friday (October 30), SpaceWeather.com reported.
A new active sunspot, called AR2891, also recently triggered an M-class flare as it rotated toward the side of the sun facing Earth. It is currently crossing the face of the sun as seen from Earth, a process that will take about two weeks.
The sun is in the early days of its current solar activity cycle, each of which lasts 11 years. The current cycle, called Solar Cycle 25, began in December 2019.