Published: Fri, September 08, 2017
Science | By Nancy Frank

A solar flare has led to a deterioration of communication on Earth

A solar flare has led to a deterioration of communication on Earth

The X.9 flare is the biggest to be recorded in the current solar cycle-an 11 year period where the sun's activity increases and decreases.

The two flares occurred Wednesday morning at 5:10am and 8:02am EDT.

A pair of solar flares, including the most powerful one in more than a decade, were detected by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory sun-monitoring probe early Wednesday morning, experts at the USA space agency confirmed in an announcement released later on in the day.

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Space.com and the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) reported that the second, more powerful of the flares resulted in high-frequency radio blackouts over a "wide area", and that those blackouts caused "loss of contact for up to an hour" over the planet's sunlit side.

The images were captured by Nasa's Solar Dynamics Observatory. "According to him, "it threatens the bounce space technology and communication systems", and its power is estimated as close to the maximum is X9,3 (letter denotes the class of extreme flares, and the number of the power of the flash)". Physicists believe the magnetic field can become twisted and looped as the Sun rotates, until finally these lines "snap". It's pretty notable that such a large flare came out of such a calm period.

The plasma, called a coronal mass ejection (CME) shot out of the sun during an M5-class flare this September 4, Mashable reports.

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The sun sent out two flares in three hours, the second of which was rated an X9.3.

The solar flares were strong enough to cause radio disruptions on the day but will have a continued impact during the night. It is not yet clear if that CME will hit Earth directly. They should be arriving within a few days.

"The details of solar flares remain somewhat elusive in the sense that we still can't predict when they'll happen, but we can at least tell when a sunspot has a particular magnetic field configuration that can harbor powerful solar flares", astrophysicist Karl Battams said. SDO and other satellites will continue monitoring the Sun for such events.

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