Nov 5 (): The Sun has erupted more than two dozen times over the past ten days, sending solar material and radiation through space.
Scientists at NASA say more solar flares may be coming as Sun nears the highest peak of its 11-year activity rotation. The shooting radiation towards the Earth could potentially play havoc with global communications.
Since October 23, the Sun has sent out 24 medium-strength M-class solar flares, and four X-class flares – the most powerful kind. As Sun is heading towards the peak of its 11-year cycle, a period known as the solar maximum, this should not be unusual.
The solar flare that erupted on October 30, Friday was the fourth intense one the sun has emitted since October 23. According to NASA, October 23rd solar flare peaked at 5:54 p.m. ET. It was classified as a X2.3 class flare, big enough to disrupt satellites nearly 100 million miles away and more intense than the ones emitted the previous Friday. Those were classified at X1.7 and X2.1.
These two solar flares were also the most intense kind emitted by the sun,that can cause a temporary radio blackout. The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued four radio blackout warnings during that time after solar weather suddenly turned turbulent.
Radiation from solar flares cannot penetrate the atmosphere of the Earth to harm life on the ground, but when strong enough it can interrupt the atmosphere in the ionosphere, where GPS and radio signals travel.
Solar flares occur when energy stored in magnetic fields twisted across the surface of the Sun is suddenly released. They can also cause aurora. Storms are rare during solar minimum, but as the sun nears solar maximum, large storms occur several times per year.
The storm that was most intense between Oct. 29 and 31, 2003 caused some scary sun-spawned havoc both on the Earth and above it, officials with United States Geological Survey explained in a statement.