One of most powerful flares occurs on Sun since 2017։ Will there be magnetic storm?

May 15, 2024  10:01

Scientists of the Institute of Applied Geophysics of the Russian Federation have registered a powerful flare of the highest class X8.7 on the Sun. This is one of the strongest solar flares since 2017: at that time, an X8.2 outbreak was reported.

On May 14, at 7:51 p.m. Moscow time (8:51 p.m. Yerevan time), a 16-minute super-powerful X-ray flare occurred in the group of 3664 sunspots. Currently, the radiation hazard level from energetic proton streams is assessed as weak (S1). However, the institute did not say whether this flare could cause a magnetic storm on Earth.

Solar flares are eruptions on the Sun's surface that emit intense bursts of electromagnetic radiation. They occur when the magnetic energy stored in the solar atmosphere is released.

Solar flares are classified into five power levels, from A to X, with each subsequent category being 10 times greater than the previous one. Higher X-class flares are often accompanied by outflows of solar plasma that can cause magnetic storms by the time they reach Earth. Such a storm reached the Earth a few days ago.

Flares on the Sun have become more frequent recently as the Sun approaches the most active phase of its 11-year solar cycle, known as "solar maximum."

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