Strongest in a decade, a major solar flare from the very active sunspot AR2673 ripped out of the sun on September 6 1202 UT.
X-rays and UV radiation from the blast ionized the top of Earth’s atmosphere, causing a strong shortwave radio blackout on the dayside of our planet.
The explosion also likely produced a CME (Coronal Mass Ejection), although coronagraph images have not yet confirmed this possibility. The event is currently being checked.
A Solar Storm Is Coming
The same sunspot blew off a large CME several days ago while facing earth. The mass of charged plasma is presently earthbound and due to arrive sometime today.
On Sept. 4th, active sunspot AR2673 hurled a CME toward Earth.
Estimated time of arrival: Today.
According to NOAA forecasters, the CME’s impact will spark moderately-strong G2-class geomagnetic storms with isolated periods of strong G3-class storming on Sept. 6th and 7th.
The source of the incoming solar storm is huge sunspot AR2673, shown here in a Sept. 5th photo taken by amateur astronomer Philippe Tosi of Nîmes, France:
informational source: spaceweather.com
Sloar Flare | CME Preparedness
Don’t we have enough things to be concerned about?
Our sun is a broiling furnace and has been known to ‘hiccup’ from time to time. Unfortunately when it does, there’s a risk that it could impact our current modern way of life. Most notably our electrical power grid.
How? By damaging or even destroying some of our electrical/electronic infrastructure. And it could happen in an instant.
So as not to be alarmist, rest assured that the magnitude of such a ‘hiccup’ would have to be quite large indeed, and doesn’t happen very often. That said, it does and will happen.
For example this latest sunspot AR2673 was barely a spot on the sun a week ago. Extraordinarily it blew up into a huge complex sunspot in a matter of days. And it just so happened to be facing the earth when it exploded a CME (fortunately not a kill shot!)
What can we do? First, realize how dependent we are on on modern technology and the electrical grid. This might inspire you to consider our addiction to electricity. Perhaps there are some ways to somewhat mitigate a temporary period of time without electricity.
If an extreme solar flare / CME event were to occur while the source faces earth, the subsequent damage to our infrastructure is theoretical and dependent upon its strength. The Carrington Event of 1859 pretty much indicates how we could be thrust into darkness. The question is, for how long…