Activity on the sun has increased recently, as the sun appears to be ‘waking up’ from a relatively peaceful period.
Two sunspots have been spotted that pose a threat for potentially strong solar flares in the coming days.
Sunspots AR2335 and AR2339 point towards the earth, and one of them has already shot off an X2-class solar flare towards the Pacific side of the globe causing some radio blackout. More disruption is likely as the storm is set to intensify.
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A minor geomagnetic storm is in progress on May 6th following the arrival of a CME at 01:43 UT. The CME’s weak impact did not immediately spark bright auroras. However, storming could intensify as Earth passes through the CME’s wake.
A pulse of UV radiation and X-rays from the flare caused a strong radio blackout over the Pacific side of Earth. This map shows the extent of the blackout, which affected frequencies below 20 MHz. Mariners, aviators, and ham radio operators are the type of people who might have noticed the disturbance.
The explosion also hurled a CME into space: movie. Traveling faster than 1100 km/s (2.5 million mph), the expanding cloud does not appear to be heading for Earth.
In addition to causing a radio blackout, the flare also caused a radio burst. Immediately after the flare, a roar of static bellowed from the loudspeakers of shortwave receivers on Pacific isles and western parts of North America.