Yesterday’s solar flare allowed the largest amount of solar material into space ever, scientists speculated.
Space observations in the past year recorded about 70 solar flares, yet scientists were shocked by the magnitude of material that was shot into the space during yesterday’s event. The material that was lofted into space rained back down over approximately half the surface of the sun. Simultaneously the solar flare rocketed particles into space known as coronal mass ejection (CME).
Scientists speculate it will take some time before they can calculate the energy and mass of the material that blasted into space yesterday, yet they note that the particles will not reach earth. However, the explosions may brighten auroras near Earth’s poles.
As a result of the sun’s cycle of activity driven by magnetic fields, scientists believe the sun will reach its maximum magnetic messiness in late 2013 early 2014, when solar flares will peak. Experts are concerned that possible solar flares of this magnitude could hinder and possibly destroy satellite components in the future. There is also a concern that transformers may blow as a result which would lead to major power outages, especially during heat waves.
According to an article by The Atlantic Wire, although the solar flare was also categorized as a minor radiation storm, we have nothing to be concerned about over the possible radiation exposure resulting from yesterday’s solar flare because of the sun’s angle during the explosion.
NASA has released footage of this extraordinary event and it is accessible on a multitude of websites. As NASA scientist Alex Young states “It’s not necessarily anything spectacular as far as space weather…it’s just really, really beautiful.”
I guess we will have to stay tuned to see what the sun has in store for us in the future.