2 strong solar flares occur: What problems have they caused on Earth?

June 20, 2023  10:21

Two strong solar flares occurred Monday, which led to a partial disruption of short-wave radio communications on Earth, TASS news agency reported citing the Heliogeophysical Service of the Institute of Applied Geophysics.

"On June 19, at 06:37 Moscow time, an M1.4 (S12E89) flare was recorded in the X-ray band, lasting 21 minutes, and at 15:14 Moscow time, an M1.1 (S12E81) flare was recorded in the X-ray band, lasting 12 minutes. The explosions were accompanied by a disruption of short-wave radio communication," the report says.

Currently, the impact of solar X-ray flares on the Earth's ionosphere corresponds to the R1 level on a five-level scale—with R5 being the maximum and R1 being the weakest. Such exposure may cause low-frequency radio interference that may affect determining the location of ships and aircraft.

Solar flares happen quite often, and the most powerful ones can have a big impact on Earth. Moreover, some scientists believe that life began on Earth thanks to "superflares" on the hyperactive young Sun.

As for more "modest" solar flares, for example, this February there was a solar flare due to which radio communications were interrupted in some parts of the Earth.

Another explosion on the Sun occurred in March, ejecting "dark plasma" into space, causing a G2 geomagnetic storm, which is considered moderate. This, in turn, led to radio communication failures in regions near the Earth's poles.

And just a few days after this event, a new powerful X-class flare occurred, during which high-frequency radio communications on the illuminated side of the Earth deteriorated sharply, and in some places they were completely lost.

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