Watch: Sun explodes with a massive solar flare that lasted eight hours
In what could be one of the longest ever events on the Sun, a massive solar flare erupted from Earth's star as it gets significantly active in its new cycle. The growing sunspot AR3032 exploded, producing M3-class flares that lasted nearly eight hours.
Two spacecraft watched the event unfold from space.
The massive flare hurtled towards the inner planets, including Earth, ionized the top of the atmosphere with the extreme ultraviolet radiation released from the Sun. The event caused a shortwave radio blackout over Japan and southeast Asia.
According to spaceweather.com, radio operators in the area may have noticed unusual propagation effects at frequencies below 30 MHz for more than an hour after the flare's peak. The explosion also hurled a Coronal mass Ejection (CME) into space as observed by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO).
The solar flare unleashed superheated plasma from the Sun, powering them at speeds ranging in millions of kilometers per hour. While the SOHO picked up the event, the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), which is focused on the Sun since 2010, also saw magnificent development.
The US-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has issued a warning stating that the CME will pass near Earth later this week, possibly delivering a glancing blow to our planet's magnetosphere. The CME could trigger minor G1-class geomagnetic storms.
The Center of Excellence in Space Sciences India under the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research notified that a coronal mass ejection was detected. "Our DBEM fit indicates a glancing impact on 15 June with speeds ranging between 645-922 km/s. Flare-induced ionospheric perturbations and geomagnetic disturbances are likely to occur over the next few days," the institution tweeted.
Geomagnetic storms are a major disturbance of Earth's magnetosphere that occurs when there is a very efficient exchange of energy from the solar wind into the space environment surrounding Earth.