Excite

X1 solar flare could cause 2nd radio blackout | 2nd April 2014

  • Getty Images

Scientists are warning of a possible radio blackout today due to an X1 class solar flare. The eruption occurred just after 6pm on March 29th with the main effect being a major disturbance in radio communications on Saturday.

An X1 flare upis the strongest category possible and includes a coronal mass ejection of energy which is set to deliver a "glancing-blow" to the Earth on April 2nd. Scientists have predicted that this arrival of energy could cause another radio blackout for a number of minutes today.

Astronomers managed to capture images of the X1 solar flare on Saturday through solar telescopes. Quickly afterwards, scientists began to assess the impact of the huge eruption here on Earth where radio frequencies were hindered for a number of minutes.

The eruption on Saturday was "unusually strong" according to the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Centre and it only took 8 minutes for solar energy to hit Earth's upper atmosphere. The second wave that is due today also has the potential to interfere with GPS systems as well as communications signals.

VÍDEO: Stanford Scientist Explains Sun's Magnetic Reversal

Activity on the sun is being closely monitored by scientists in an attempt to determine whether solar activity is happening at an increased rate. Recently, scientists have managed to pin down and accurately predict the occasions when the sun's polarity shifts upside down.

United Kingdom - Excite Network Copyright ©1995 - 2017