Though in the short terms, they are not expected to be damaging, but solar flares 2013 may prove dangerous for earth in the long term
Solar Flares are becoming very common these days. And the intensity of the flares is going up and up and is not going to subside anytime soon. Though for common people this doesnâ€™t seem very threatening or threatening at all, but there are experts who suggest that the flares may be harmful to even man and womanâ€™s health. But so far no human being has been fully exposed to a solar flare.
Just past week a number of solar flares erupted on the surface of the sun and a few of them were the most powerful type flares. Even a class X type solar flare also erupted from the sun that has become super active in recent years. The same sun that is erupting with increased frequency in the last few years had remained dormant for a very long time. The latest flare that erupted on the surface of sun causing Class X storm also hurled a massive cloud of charged particles out into space at millions of miles an hour.
NASA says that the increased activity of the sun and more and more powerful storms igniting there are not expected to pose any direct threat to the earth or the earthlings. But it says that it might cause temporarily disruption of GPS navigation, satellite communications and power grids. Even though the flare was incredibly powerful, it was weakest of the four rapid-fire X flares, clocking in at X1.2. The previous three registered as X1.7, X2.8 and X3.2 flares, respectively. Those three occurred while the Sunspot AR1748, about twice the size of Earth and currently located on the sun’s extreme left side, was facing away from Earth, however, so they did not affect our planet.
When it comes to the type of storms that ignite on the surface of the sun, strong solar flares are basically categorized in three sections, with C being the weakest, M intermediate and X the most powerful. X-class flares can cause long-lasting radiation storms in Earthâ€™s upper atmosphere and trigger radio blackouts. M flares can cause brief radio blackouts in the Polar Regions and occasional minor radiation storms, while C flares have few noticeable consequences. Strong solar flares can also supercharge Earthâ€™s auroras, creating dazzling northern lights displays. The frequent solar flares are being caused due to the sun being in an active period of its 11-year solar weather cycle which is expected to reach peak activity later this year. The current cycle, known as Solar Cycle 24, began in 2008. It may be mentioned that the scientists have been tracking sunspots, solar flares and other space weather events since they were first discovered in 1843.
In the meantime more and more details are appearing about solar storms. According to solar astrophysicist C. Alex Young at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, the sunspot will likely be facing Earth by this weekend. He said: “In a couple of days, it will be far enough onto the disk that any CMEs that we got would probably have some impact on Earth.” Astronomer Tony Phillips wrote on Spaceweather.com, a website that tracks skywatching and space weather events: â€œSpace weather forecasters with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmosperic Administration â€œestimate a 40 percent chance of polar geomagnetic storms when the cloud arrives. High-latitude skywatchers should be alert for auroras tonight.â€