On July 3, the solar flare took place at sunspot AR2838, at 10:29 a.m. Researchers have measured the intensities of these solar flares on a scale – A-class flares are the smallest, and X-class flares are the biggest. This flare, from the 3rd of July, was classified as X1, which is the largest category of solar flares.
Solar flares are large eruptions of radiation from the sun. Scientists sat about solar flares that “We’re talking the energy equivalent of millions of 100-megaton hydrogen bombs exploding at the same time.” This huge release of energy can also be felt on Earth, 93 million miles away.
These solar flares are part of the space weather, which have an impact on the space around Earth, and they are usually caused by the sun. These flares sometimes come with coronal mass ejections, and magnetic plasma bubbles can reach Earth. If this kind of energy finds its way onto Earth, then it can have an impact on high frequency communication, satellites or GPS devices.
Right now, the sun is going through a solar cycle that lasts for 11 years, and the flare activity is not constant. In December 2019, Cycle 25 began with a solar minimum – the sun was active, but it is much calmer and is has fewer sunspots. However, the activity has increased and will reach a solar maximum by July 2025.
In April 2024, a total solar eclipse will cross North America, and this is a great moment for scientists to observe the activity of the sun – such as solar eruptions and sunspots. This will help up learn more about this atmosphere and what it means to live inside of it. We will also learn more about the space weather it creates.
As our second lead editor, Anna C. Mackinno provides guidance on the stories Great Lakes Ledger reporters cover. She has been instrumental in making sure the content on the site is clear and accurate for our readers. If you see a particularly clever title, you can likely thank Anna. Anna received a BA and and MA from Fordham University.