Solar Spot Re-Arranges Superhtrama, Threatens Communication Systems

The solar spot of the AR3664, which previously caused powerful solar explosions that led to historical and widespread auroras, has reappeared on the surface of the sun and unleashed a powerful class X flare on Monday.

According to the NOAA space weather forecasting center, the flare on the southeastern edge of the Sun was measured at X2.8. Class X flares are the strongest, although even more powerful ones have been observed earlier this month. The higher the number, the greater the intensity of the flare, which can disrupt radio communications and other systems on Earth.

However, the impact of solar activity on Earth’s systems is influenced by various factors. Auroras and disruptions in electrical systems are more closely linked to coronal mass ejections (CMEs), which are bursts of charged particles that can reach Earth in a few days. CMEs also have directionality, and if the ejection comes from a solar spot directed towards Earth, the likelihood of significant impacts is much higher.

The source of the solar superflare on May 10, which triggered auroras visible in all fifty states of the United States for the first time in decades, was also the sunspot AR3664. In early May, it was directly facing Earth. The Sun rotates on its axis, similar to Earth, and AR3664 has spent the past few weeks on the far side of the Sun but is now returning to view.

It appears that AR3664 has maintained its activity, and another sunspot, AR3691, is also growing and has the potential for class X flares, moving towards Earth’s direction.

This could mean a repeat of the events on May 10 in the coming week or two. While there are no official forecasts for a repeat of the superflare yet, the unpredictability of the Sun leaves room for surprises. More clarity is expected in the upcoming week.

Based on the class X flare recorded on Monday, it seems that new activity lies ahead, especially considering that many anticipate the peak of this solar cycle’s activity to occur in a year or more.

/Reports, release notes, official announcements.