Massive Solar Flare Larger Than Earth Poses Threat to Communication Systems

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  • Solar Flare
    (NASA/SDO/GOES)
    Active Region 1302 unleashes an X1.9-category solar flare at 5:40 am EDT on Sept. 24, 2011. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) recorded the extreme ultraviolet flash in composite wavelengths (211, 193, 171 angstrom). Note: The sun has been rotated 90 degrees clock-wise for better video presentation.
By Vincent Funaro, Christian Post Reporter
September 27, 2011|2:12 pm

A massive solar flare erupted on the sun at the weekend and has continued to light up the Earth’s skyline throughout the week with watchers in Asia and Europe enjoying the display.

This 62,000 mile sun flare named AR1302 is gigantic, and the Earth pales in comparison when it comes to size.

The flare has produced electromagnetic storms which caused unique light displays in the sky on Earth’s Northern Hemisphere.

But these types of occurrences on the sun can also affect communication systems on the planet.

The flare was deemed “the geomagnetic storm that just won’t go away,” by Officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center out of Boulder, Colorado on its Facebook page.

The actual blasts emitted from the flare have not posed a threat to the Earth thus far.

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“None of the blasts have been squarely Earth-directed, but this could change as the sunspot turns toward our planet in the days ahead,” says NASA. “AR1302 is growing and shows no immediate signs of quieting down.”

The storm’s intensity maintained a low profile on Monday.

“Region 1302 remains capable of producing more activity and will be in a favorable position for that activity to have impacts on Earth for the next 3-5 days,” SWPC officials posted in a space weather bulletin on Monday.

Solar flares have not affected the Earth in the past four years.

But that ended in the spring when disturbances on the sun produced powerful blasts on March 9.

This flare is being attributed to the sun’s regular 11 year cycle in which solar activity has been increasing recently.

“Solar activity will continue to increase as the solar cycle progresses toward solar maximum, expected in the 2013 time frame,” stated NASA officials.

 

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