On Thursday, the sun emitted a massive flare and a substantial radio burst, causing a two-hour radio interference in various parts of the US and sunlit regions globally. According to scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), this event marks the most significant flare since 2017, impacting even higher frequencies.
Shawn Dahl of NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center described it as one of the most extensive solar radio events ever recorded.Multiple pilots reported communication disruptions nationwide, prompting scientists to closely monitor the sunspot region for potential plasma outbursts, known as coronal mass ejections. Such ejections, if directed at Earth, could lead to a geomagnetic storm, disrupting high-frequencyradio signals and possibly triggering northern lights, or auroras, in the coming days.
The eruption took place in the far northwest section of the sun, and NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, launched in 2010, captured the event in extreme ultraviolet light. The spacecraft, in a high orbit around Earth, constantly monitors the sun for such activities.
As the sun approaches the peak of its approximately 11-year solar cycle, with maximum sunspot activity predicted for 2025, scientists remain vigilant for further developments in solar activity.