A massive solar storm is heading for Earth as NASA warns that the torch will “hit directly”. Here’s what you need to know about the massive eruption that is coming our way
A major solar flare that erupted from the sun on Thursday October 28th will hit Earth over the weekend.
The flare, which NASA experts have dubbed a “significant solar flare,” fired the sun off in one of the strongest storms in the current weather cycle.
Solar flares are categorized according to their strength, and the one that was fired yesterday was an X1-class solar flare that is predicted to enter the atmosphere on Saturday or Sunday, causing widespread power outages and communications outages.
According to the US Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC), it has already resulted in a temporary but severe radio failure in parts of South America.
Here’s what you need to know about the solar flare kit for a “direct hit” on Earth.
What are solar flares?
Solar flares are massive bursts of radiation from the sun that send charged particles outward from the star.
They are categorized into a system of letters, with the C class being relatively weak, the M class being moderate, and the X class torches being the strongest.
Among the X classes, “an X2 is twice as intense as an X1, an X3 is three times as intense,” according to NASA.
The one currently headed for Earth is an X1 flare which, while the least intense of the X class flares, is likely to have a devastating impact by disrupting radio and satellite communications.
Sometimes these flares are accompanied by a massive eruption of solar particles known as coronal mass ejection (CME). Thursday’s torch spawned a CME hurtling toward Earth at a speed of 1,260 km / s.
The sun is currently at the beginning of a new 11-year solar cycle, which makes such eruptions and flares more intense and extreme.
These events are expected to peak around 2025, and it is hoped that the Solar Orbiter will observe all of these as it accomplishes its goals of flying within 26 million miles of the Sun.