A powerful flare erupted on the sun’s surface late Thursday. It could happen again very soon.
The explosion was categorized as an X1.2 flare. These types of flares are powerful and can cause severe geomagnetic storms on Earth. They can affect various space and communications equipment and even disrupts the power grip cutting the electricity supply.
Although a flare of this type is at the lower end of the scale, it has the potential to cause severe damage to Earth. Fortunately, so far, no damage has been reported from the explosion. The only brief disruption caused by the blast was a radio blackout over parts Australia and the SouthPacific.
The radio blackout was caused by the explosion’s powerful effects, which caused it to travel at a speed of light that approached Earth in just eight minutes.
But scientists believe there is more to it. According to former NASA astronomer Tony Philips the explosion might continue due to the massive size and complexity.
Powerful flare eruptions often combine with coronal mass ejections, which hurl hot plasma toward Earth at a slower speed.
This week, a massive sunspot ejected powerful flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs) from its far side. Since the sunspot, which is known as AR3182, is now moving closer to Earth, future storms could be headed our way.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s space weather prediction center said that there’s a 10 percent chance that more X flares will appear over the weekend.