A powerful X1.1 class flare was registered on the Sun on Saturday, February 11th. Peaking at 10:48 “Eastern Standard” time (18:48 Moscow time), it caused radio outages over the territory of South America. This was announced by the US Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC), subordinate to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
It is reported that the source of the outbreak was the sunspot AR3217, as a result, the incident affected the quality of communication in the 3-30 MHz bands in the South American continent and its environs. According to some reports, additional flares are not excluded in the future, the spot moves along the surface of the Sun.
Solar flares are large ejections of charged particles of varying intensity. Whereas A-class and C-class flares are subtle and have little or no impact on the Earth, M-class flares amplify aurora intensity, and X-class flares are the strongest type. The strongest X-class flare (X28) was recorded in 2003 – it led to an overload of sensors that tracked its intensity.
Intense solar flares may be accompanied by so-called. coronal mass ejections, during which a large amount of solar plasma is released, moving from the Sun at a speed of more than 1.5 million km / h. If such a release is directed to the Earth, this can lead to interruptions in the operation of communication systems, power plants, and even endanger the life/health of astronauts on the ISS and the operation of satellites.
However, according to available data, no release was observed in the case of Saturday’s outbreak. However, the ejection still happened in the northern hemisphere of the Sun. It should reach the Earth on February 14 and can, at a minimum, lead to an increase in the intensity of the auroras.
It is known that a solar flare of extreme intensity was already registered this year in early January.
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