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New strong solar flares cause radio blackouts

Two new solar flares trigger an ultraviolet emission and a radio blackout in the Atlantic

On Wednesday (15th), the Sun presented stronger flares and caused radio blackouts in the Atlantic Ocean. A sunspot that produced both explosions is still emerging from the western edge of the solar disk and will head towards Earth next week.

According to the bulletin of the Solar Influences Data Analysis Center, of the Royal Observatory of Belgium, the Sun has had two major eruptions. The first and most intense was an X3.4 class event, peaking at 05:37 (Brasilia time). The second was an X2.9 burst, peaking at 2.38pm.

In the classification of solar flares, the letter X indicates the most powerful “family” of events that the Sun can produce. This class is divided into X-ray energy levels that typically range from 1 to 10, but the Sun has emitted many events well above X10.

The sunspot responsible for the events is AR3685, a magnetically active region not yet well understood, as it is only partially visible to spacecraft tracking the Sun as it moves toward the center of the solar disk, about which astronomers will have more information to collect.

The sunspot responsible for the eruptions is not yet fully visible (Image: Reproduction/NASA/AIA; Notes: Daniele Cavalcante)

For now, there are suspicions that AR3685 is actually the ancient AR3654, which emitted several M-class (medium) flares, including an M9.5 event when the Sun was in its previous rotation. In other words, AR3654 may have survived long enough for our star to rotate again.

Another active region likely to exhibit class X events is AR3679, which features a group of spots with a beta-gamma-delta configuration. This type of region is magnetically complex and has enough energy to trigger large eruptions.

Source: spaceweather.com

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