Images have been released by Nasa showing the Sun’s biggest solar flare of 2015.
In the incredible footage taken by Nasa’s Solar Dynamics Observatory on Wednesday, an X-class solar flare, the strongest category of solar flare, is captured.
So powerful is this week’s solar flare that scientists have predicted geomagnetic storms on Earth today, which could see blackouts and disruption to communication signals. It is also believed that the solar flare, which is directed at the Earth, could also impact GPS systems and electronic devices.
Solar flares create powerful bursts of radiation from the Sun’s surface. Although this radiation is unable to penetrate through Earth’s atmosphere, it is able to disrupt the area in which satellite signals travel.
Solar flares occur when magnetic energy builds up in the sun’s atmosphere and is quickly released.
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Radiation is then emitted across the electromagnetic spectrum, from soft X-rays to gamma rays.
The latest solar flare is rated as an X-class flare, the most powerful and is said to have the same energy as millions of hydrogen bombs.
The flare has already led to one hour-long blackout, with the US Space Weather Prediction Centre in Boulder, Colorado confirming that some high-frequency radio communications went down on Wednesday.
More disruption to satellite signals and communications are expected today and over the weekend.Reuse content