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Prepare for Impact? Rare 'Super-Explosion' of Four Solar Flares Could Cause Chaos on Earth

Rare 'Super-Explosion' of Four Solar Flares Raises Chaos Concerns
Source: NASA

Four powerful bursts happened simultaneously recently and NASA captured it.

Apr. 30 2024, Published 9:14 a.m. ET

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A rare phenomenon of "super" solar flares has stirred concerns about potential chaos on Earth, as the Sun unleashed four powerful bursts simultaneously.

Captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, these quadruple emissions of electromagnetic radiation from the Sun's surface are exceptionally uncommon, the Daily Star reported.

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While solar flares individually pose a threat to electronics and power systems on Earth, the occurrence of four simultaneous flares, spanning vast distances across the Sun's surface, hints at a significant solar maximum event.

NASA identified these solar eruptions recently and promptly shared images of the extraordinary event.

Described as "sympathetic solar flares" by Spaceweather, these paired explosions occurred nearly simultaneously in widely-separated active regions of the Sun.

The recent event, however, was not merely a simple pair but a complex quartet spanning much of the Sun's Earth-facing hemisphere.

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The timing of these sightings aligns with the Sun nearing its peak of solar activity, indicating a surge in unusual solar events that might impact Earth. Earlier this year, Earth experienced G4-level solar flares, the most significant since 2017.

While heightened solar activity promises more frequent sightings of the Northern Lights, it also raises concerns about potential impacts from solar storms. Scientists have previously cautioned that a sufficiently powerful solar storm could disrupt global communications, potentially shutting down the internet for weeks.

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Researchers from the IISER Kolkata Center of Excellence in Space Sciences in India have warned about the unpredictable intensity and consequences of such major solar storms.

Dr. Dibyendu Nandi emphasized that the most severe storms could lead to catastrophic orbital decay of low Earth orbiting satellites and disrupt crucial satellite-based services like communications and navigation networks.


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