Solar storm of 2013 peak activity expected to hit century low

Jan 8 (TruthDive): A huge solar flare, a solar activity of 2013 will probably be the quietest seen in at least 100 years, say NASA scientists who watch Earth’s closest star daily.

Scientists say that solar flare is a sudden eruption with intense high-energy radiation from the surface of the sun, which is caused by the explosions on sun’s surface.

‘Solar Maximum’ is a period of greatest solar activity when the Sun’s irradiance output rises 0.1%. While the Solar maximum happens once in every 11 years, this year’s impact will be changed as this solar activity coincides with the Sun’s 22-year magnetic energy cycle. The same when it happened last time was in 1859.

But, the peak of ‘Solar Maximum’ this year will probably be the quietest seen in at least 100 years. Researchers said, the sunspot numbers are low, even as the sun reaches the peak of its 11-year activity cycle. And, also the radio waves that indicate high solar activity have been very quiet.

Project scientist for NASA’s sun-observing mission Stereo, or Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory, Joe Gurman wrote that as measured by sunspot ‘number’, in more than a century, it is likely to be the lowest solar maximum. The current sun weather cycle is known as Solar Cycle 24.

Usually, solar flare could hit the Earth like a lightning bolt and blow out navigational and electrical equipment leading to blackout of power systems and communication. Scientists say people living in higher latitudes (like Siberia or Canada) are more likely to be directly hit. Air traffic in these regions may have to be redirected.

Solar storm of 2013 will be felt for a few hours across the world, but a solar flare will not destroy the Earth. The Earth’s atmosphere will protect us from some of the harmful effects of solar radiation.


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