In this article, we are going to be covering the solar flare that might cause GPS outages over the world, affecting ship and light aircraft travel.
A massive flare has erupted from the Sun, potentially causing radio blackouts in numerous regions of the world today. On July 14, the sunspot AR3058 released a radiation explosion. It is an M-class flare (the second most powerful), and GPS users have been advised to remain alert at dawn and dusk. Northern lights might also be produced.
The Sun has an 11-year solar cycle and is now in its active phase. As a result, solar prices are anticipated to climb in the coming weeks. Radio transmissions are essential to global communications and navigation systems, and such flares might severely disrupt operations. Thankfully, our atmosphere shields humans from the dangerous radiation emitted by these cosmic rays.
Direct Hit! A snake-like filament launched as a big #solarstorm while in the Earth-strike zone. NASA predicts impact early July 19. Strong #aurora shows possible with this one, deep into mid-latitudes. Amateur #radio & #GPS users expect signal disruptions on Earth's nightside. pic.twitter.com/7FHgS63xiU
— Dr. Tamitha Skov (@TamithaSkov) July 16, 2022
What are solar flares?
These flares are concentrated bursts of electromagnetic radiation from the Sun’s surface. When these flares approach the Earth, the energy contained inside them ionizes the top layers of our atmosphere, causing signal loss and interfering with radio communication. There are five categories of flares: A, B, C, M, and X, with X being the most powerful.
Outages on GPS systems are expected
The new M-class flare aimed at Earth might cause GPS navigation systems to go down and impair ship and light aircraft travel. As a result, consumers must remain vigilant. Ham radio operators may experience some interference, and Northern lights are also possible. Scientists are unclear if a geomagnetic storm will occur in the next few days.
Scientists were recently concerned about the activity caused by the massive sunspot AR3038, which quadrupled in size in 24 hours. Its dangerous region was immediately facing the Earth and presented the potential of sending flares our way. Fortunately, this did not occur.
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