This Easter weekend, a large solar flare triggered radio blackouts on Earth, which could signal a period of increased probability of solar storms in the coming days.
The peak of this weekend event was recorded at 0:34 am on Sunday (17), followed by a coronal mass ejection (CME), according to the SWPC (United States Space Weather Prediction Center). This phenomenon causes large eruptions of ionized gas at high temperature, which can cause geomagnetic storms and damage means of communication and power stations.
According to the SWPC, the explosion is class X1, which is the strongest of all. The eruption arose from a cluster of sunspots in regions 2994 and 2993, with “significant outbursts” since appearing at one end of the Sun.
The American agency also reported that the event lasted 34 minutes and solar activity will continue in the coming days.
Because it generated a radio blackout, however brief, the solar flare was classified as Type II.
Astronomer Tony Phillips of Spaceweather says the CME from the eruption is likely not aimed at Earth, because it occurred at one end of the Sun.
What are solar storms?
Solar storms occur when a large bubble of superheated gas, known as plasma, is ejected from the sun’s surface and hits Earth. The bubble is called a coronal mass ejection.