A Giant Solar Flare Erupts on the Sun
A giant ring-shaped solar flare erupted on the Sun on Saturday, September 16, causing an explosion of super-hot plasma known as a coronal mass ejection (CME) towards Earth.
Coronal Mass Ejection Expected to Hit Earth
The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is tracking the Earth-bound portion of a coronal mass ejection expected to hit the planet on September 19.
Tweet by Keith Strong
THE BIGGEST ERUPTION I’VE EVER SEEN! I am a professional solar observer. for over It’s been 50 years and this is the largest filamentous eruption I’ve ever seen. Please note that this covers over half The sun, compare it to the size of Earth (inset), but surprisingly it did not produce big flash. rice.twitter.com/RgplcTy0Ap
Potential Auroras and Geomagnetic Storms
According to Spaceweather.com, this could be good news for sky watchers because if the coronal mass ejection occurs as expected, it could trigger a geomagnetic storm that will cause the aurora to appear.
Solar energy physicist Keith Strong took to the X website (formerly Twitter) to express his excitement at the massive solar explosion, saying: “This is the largest eruption I’ve ever seen. I have been observing the Sun professionally for over 50 years.”
Understanding Geomagnetic Storms
Geomagnetic storms are known to be disturbances in the Earth’s magnetic field caused by solar material released by coronal ejections, which are large ejections of plasma and magnetic field from the Sun’s atmosphere.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) classifies geomagnetic storms on a scale from G1, which can cause increased polar activity around the poles and slight fluctuations in power supplies, to G5, the most extreme level that can cause a complete blackout of radio communications. the frequency on earth is on the sunlit side and lasts for several hours.
Predicted G2 Storm and Possible Impacts
A G2 storm expected on Tuesday (September 19) could cause widespread auroras. This could result in limited disruption of high-frequency radio communications on the sunlit side and potential loss of radio communications for up to tens of minutes, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. There may also be degradation of low-frequency navigation signals for tens of minutes.
Future Space Weather Events
We can expect more extreme space weather events as the Sun approaches the peak of its 11-year solar cycle, which is expected to occur in 2025. But like weather on Earth, space weather is variable and forecasts can change.