Sunspots on the Sun’s surface sparked dangerous solar flares yesterday! Could these flares have caused any damage?
There is cause to worry as Earth has been in the firing line of dangerous solar flares recently. Solar activity has been at a high due to the Sun being in the middle of its 11-year solar cycle, a time when it reaches its peak before subsiding over the next few years. As a result, sunspot eruptions, solar storms, solar flares and more, have all plagued Earth for the past months. Just yesterday, dangerous solar flares erupted from the solar surface and sent hurling.
According to a spaceweather.com report, dangerous M-class solar flares were sent hurling yesterday, December 15, by nearly 11 numbered sunspots facing the Sun. Moreover, X-rated flares were hurled too, making it extremely dangerous. The report said,” Don’t be surprised if there is a solar flare today. NOAA forecasters say there is a 75% chance of M-flares and a 15% chance of X-flares on Dec. 15th. With 11 numbered sunspot groups crossing the face of the sun, odds are good that any eruption will be geoeffective”.
What is a Solar Flare?
According to NASA, Solar flares are photon flares emitted from the Sun which travel from the flare site. They are rated on the basis of their intensity with the highest being an X-rated solar flare. Solar Flares occur due to Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) on the surface of the Sun which sends charged photon particles hurtling towards Earth.
Solar flares impact Earth only when they occur on the side of the sun facing Earth. Because flares are made of photons, they travel out directly from the flare site, so if we can see the flare, we can be impacted by it, according to NASA.
How solar flares affect our tech
Fortunately, scientists can predict solar flares before they happen, and if they occur, it still takes time for them to reach our planet. This means we can get enough time to secure our tech before the solar flare can reach us. The part that really affects tech seriously is referred to as an EMP. It contains a bunch of charged particles and when they hit something conductive, they impart that charge on that conductive object, creating current in a part of a circuit that overloads a powered line. This can fry components and even melt wires when they become overloaded.