[HOT] : A powerful solar flare caused a radio blackout over the Atlantic on Saturday

In March 2016, an unusual eruption occurred on the surface of our Sun. It should offer astronomers clues to understand the mysterious explosions of our star. Researchers call this event the “Rosetta Stone” of solar flares. It would indeed be the key to understanding all types of solar flares. Eruptions that can have consequences on our Earth. (in English) © Nasa Goddard

Even though the Sun seemed rather calm, a major solar flare took place this Saturday, July 3, 2021. The first classified X of the 25th solar cycle. She disrupted radio broadcasts on Earth.

This happened this Saturday, July 3, 2021. A Solar eruption major came to a head just before 4:30 p.m. KST. Classified X1.59, it was observed by the Solar Dynamics Observatory satellite on the northwest side of the limbe of our star. And this is the first class X solar flare – the class of the most intense flares – in the cycle 25 of our Sun. The first also since 2017. It had been class X9, nine times more powerful.

A program radio type II has been registered at a speed of about 375 km / s. The sign that an ejection of coronal material accompanied the rash. The high-society atmosphere terrestrial was briefly ionized. Result: a blackout of approximately one hour of emissions shortwave radio over the Atlantic Ocean. A blackout that browsers, airmen or radio operators may have noticed.

[HOT] : A powerful solar flare caused a radio blackout over the Atlantic on Saturday

In red, the region disturbed by the solar eruption of July 3.

A rare “magnetic hook”

On the Lofoten Islands (Norway), an observatory of the space weather experienced disturbances that he had not known for several years: a startle radio, ionospheric disturbance and a surge of electric currents in the ground. But also an even rarer disturbance: a deviation of the magnetic field local.

[HOT] : A powerful solar flare caused a radio blackout over the Atlantic on Saturday

This Saturday, July 3, 2021, the instruments of a space weather observatory based on the Lofoten Islands (Norway) recorded several types of disturbances linked to an ongoing solar flare.

To describe it, the researchers speak of “magnetic hook”. By ionizing the high earth atmosphere, the solar flare caused currents to flow 60 to 100 kilometers above the surface of our planet. These currents, in turn, changed the polar magnetic field of the Earth. Unlike the geomagnetic disturbances that occur with CME a few days after an eruption, a magnetic hook occurs during the eruption. They tend to occur during quick, impulsive eruptions like this one.

The rash probably arose from a sunspot baptized AR2838 (active region 2838) and which did not exist only a few hours before. New proof of the difficulty of predicting solar activity.

Futura in the Stars is the unmissable event for lovers of astronomy and space. Every 1st of the month, meet us for a complete tour of the ephemeris of the month, with advice on how to best observe what is happening in the sky. A special episode published every 15th of the month will offer you to learn more about a particular object or event that will mark the astronomical and space news.

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