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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

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Solar flare warning! Giant sunspot about to explode, NOAA says; blackouts on earth feared

A huge sunspot could explode at any moment and spew out a powerful solar flare. This can even cause radio interference on Earth.

In recent days, the Earth anticipated a major threat from the sun. It’s a giant sunspot called AR3141 that exploded last week, resulting in a massive flare of solar flares at the far side of the sun. If that solar flare had hit Earth, it would have caused massive radiation damage to satellites and wireless communications, but thankfully it wasn’t aimed at our planet. However, the same sunspot now faces Earth. And according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) prediction, it could explode again. Know the scary consequences if an eruption of the solar flare hits Earth today.

The report came from SpaceWeather.com who noted on its website: “NOAA forecasters have increased the probability of M-class flares to 25% today. This is in response to the continued growth of AR3141. The large sunspot now has a ‘beta “gamma” magnetic field that harbors energy for moderately strong explosions. Any eruption will be geo-effective as the sunspot orbits toward Earth.”

The frequency and size of such sunspots will increase as the Earth reaches the peak of its solar cycle. This phase, known as the solar maximum, will arrive sometime in 2023. We will see multiple giant sunspots on our sun at the same time, as well as multiple successive bursts of solar flares. When these solar flares release coronal mass ejection, it can lead to dangerous solar storms.

A strong solar storm (G5 class or higher) can easily damage satellites, cause widespread radio interference, disrupt mobile networks, damage broadband cables under the sea and affect internet connectivity, cause power outages and even damage the microprocessors in electronic devices.

It should be noted that the worst solar storm we’ve seen so far in 2022 was a G3 class solar storm caused by a double CME impact in August. The solar storm caused GPS and radio jamming across much of Africa, the Middle East and Australia.

Did you know: The strongest solar storm in history was the Carrington event in 1859. During this geomagnetic event, telegraph machines were seen to short circuit, create visible sparks, and operate without being plugged in. Remember the word is ‘strongest registered’. Actually, in the past, there are many that were believed to be much stronger, but there were no technologies to measure back then.

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