News Worms
News Worms


Global Positioning System disruptions feared as particles from huge solar flares wash over Earth

Global Positioning System disruptions feared as particles from huge solar flares wash over Earth

Yesterday, that same sunspot emitted an M-class solar flare - one-tenth the size of an X-class flare - leading to a coronal mass ejection aimed toward Earth that could cause auroras tonight as far south as OH and Indiana. Flares give off radiation that cannot pass through Earth's atmosphere, but can affect radio and Global Positioning System signals, which is why some might have noticed a radio station go silent this week. "Analysis indicates likely CME arrival late on September 8 into early September 9", the space agency said. The X-class solar flares are the most powerful flares. The first was classified as X2.2, which was quickly followed by another identified as X9.3.

Auroras are seen when charged particles emitted from the sun hit particles in the Earth's atmosphere and produce light in the air. Five categories - A, B, C, M and X - are used to rank solar flares based on their intensity.

Meanwhile, NASA has announced that two more large flares were observed at about 11:30 p.m. on September 7, Japan time, the second also in the most intense X-class, though they emitted just one-seventh the X-rays of the September 6 event. A total of six solar flares have erupted from the same active sunspot since Monday - including the largest flare the Sun has produced in its current cycle. 4, 2017. The last one occurred on September 8 while many more are expected to observe in coming days. According to The Space Weather Prediction Centre in the US, CME's are explosions of magnetic field and plasma from the Sun. At the end of the active phase, these eruptions become increasingly rare but still can be powerful.

The orbiting Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, a joint project between NASA and the European Space Agency, is now out of contact with Earth because of its location, so observers will not be able to see any coronal mass ejections caused by this morning's flares until 10:30 p.m. EDT (1830 GMT), Battams wrote on Twitter. However, 3 hours later, a second flare erupted.

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