Major solar flare could disrupt satellite communications: Indian space scientists
According to the Centre of Excellence in Space Sciences India (CESSI), the sun produced a large solar flare today that might disrupt satellite communications and global positioning systems.
"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 tremendous bursts of energy that can disrupt radio communications, power grids, and navigation signals, as well as put spacecraft and astronauts in danger.
This flare is an X-Class, which denotes the most intense flares, while the number indicates 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, and airline communication impacts, "the CESSI said on Twitter.
Solar flares of the X-class are the most powerful storms on the sun. A-class sun flares are the weakest; B- and C-class storms are likewise minor. When aimed directly at Earth, more intense M-class storms and above can supercharge the northern lights, while the strongest X-class storms can pose a threat to satellites and astronauts in orbit.
The sun's 11-year solar weather cycle is currently entering a more active phase (the current cycle is known as Solar Cycle 25 and began in 2019).
NASA's Solar Dynamics Orbiter, the NASA-European Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), and other solar scientists maintain watch on space weather from the sun via a series of spacecraft.