Home > Cosmic Craziness > Surprise: 28 Solar Flares In The Last Seven Days, And More May Be Coming

Surprise: 28 Solar Flares In The Last Seven Days, And More May Be Coming


By Deborah Netburn, Los Angeles Times – “The sun has erupted more than two dozen times over the last week, sending radiation and solar material hurtling through space – and scientists say more eruptions may be coming.

This shouldn’t be unusual. After all, we are technically at solar maximum, the peak of the 11-year cycle of the sun’s activity. But this has been a noticeably mellow solar maximum, with the sun staying fairly quiet throughout the summer. So when our life-giving star suddenly let loose with 24 medium strength M-class solar flares and four significantly stronger X-class flares between Oct.  23 and Oct. 30, it felt like a surprise.

Many of the flares originated from sunspot AR1884, a particularly active region of the sun that is currently facing Earth, almost at the center of the star. If this region stays active, it will continue to hurl radiation and solar material our way for about another week until it rotates out of sight.

A sunspot is an area of the sun where the magnetic fields have gotten all twisted up. ‘You get a tangled bunch of magnetic fields, and they get too tangled and too stressed, they end up erupting,’ said Holly Gilbert, a solar physicist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

The good news is that none of the rapid-fire solar flares of the last week have had much effect on life on Earth. Our atmosphere protects us from the sun’s occasional powerful bursts of light and radiation, but solar flares do occasionally interact with our communications systems. The radiation can mess with an upper layer in our atmosphere called the ionosphere and cause radio signals to act funky.” Read more.

Flashback: Puzzling: Solar Flare Creates Mysterious Pulse On Earth That Seemed To ‘Answer’ Sun’s Blast – “After an unusually long quiet period, the sun unleashed a solar flare on May 17 this year – but scientists are now puzzling over what happened on Earth. Neutron monitors all round the world lit up in response to the blast for the first time in six years, despite the fact it was an M-Class, or moderate, flare.” Read more.

Flashback: Signs in the Sun: Some Scientists Believe Bursts Of Solar Activity May Be Causing Natural Disasters On Earth – “Some scientists believe bursts of solar activity cause natural disasters on our planet, but until now the star has been too difficult to reach or explore in any detail. Some Russian researchers think they have the solution. Volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis – apocalyptic pictures are becoming an ordinary part of news bulletins across the globe. And scientists are not giving out reassuring forecasts.” Read more.

Categories: Cosmic Craziness
  1. Anonymous
    11/05/2013 at 5:48 PM

    ison is suns target

    Like

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