As solar maximum draws near, the activity of the Sun, the source of all life, is increasing, resulting in more solar flares and coronal mass ejections.
The Sun goes through a predictable cycle of activity that, to the uninitiated, lasts around 11 years. A solar maximum causes the sun’s magnetic field to become especially active and its outer atmosphere, or corona, to grow, which causes a greater release of energy in the form of charged particles and electromagnetic radiation. This release of energy can have an effect on Earth’s technology and communications systems.
The Sun has a glint in its eye… 👀— NASA Sun & Space (@NASASun) February 9, 2023
On Feb. 7, the Sun emitted an M6.3 flare, peaking at 23:07 UTC (6:07pm ET). The Solar Dynamics Observatory captured the moment in ultraviolet light. pic.twitter.com/2bVwIWInJR
NASA reports that the Sun released 20 significant solar flares, or powerful blasts of radiation, in the previous week alone.
The Solar Dynamics Observatory of NASA recorded a video of the Sun’s M6.3 flare on February 7. (SDO). Large volumes of X-rays, ultraviolet radiation, charged particles, and other radiation can be emitted during flares. These radiations can interact with the Earth’s magnetic field and block hazardous radiation and particles from the Sun.
The Sun also released 34 coronal mass ejections (CMEs) last week, which are massive bursts of plasma and magnetic field that are ejected from the sun’s corona. Power grids, satellites, and communication networks may all be impacted when a CME hits Earth and interacts with its magnetic field. Beautiful auroras, sometimes referred to as the Northern and Southern Lights, can also be created by CMEs when their charged particles mix with the Earth’s magnetic field and atmosphere.
To assist scientists better understand the Sun’s behaviour, NASA’s SDO continuously monitors it. Numerous new discoveries have been made thanks to the observatory, which was started in 2010.
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