NASA confirms massive solar flare hits Earth, officials record impact

NASA recently confirmed that the Sun released a massive solar flare towards Earth, which could have caused geomagnetic storms.

Published Mon, Nov 1 2021 2:36 AM CDT   |   Updated Sun, Nov 28 2021 4:34 PM CST

NASA recently confirmed the existence of a solar flare occurring on the Sun, which resulted in a plasma wave being launched directly towards Earth.

The space agency explained that Sunspot AR2887 erupted, causing a solar flare and a coronal mass ejection (CME) to be shot towards Earth's direction. The solar flare was classified as an X1-class flare, X being the highest categorization that is given to a solar flare. For those that don't know what flares are, they are burst of radiation that can't pass through Earth's atmosphere to harm humans. However, its impact on Earth can cause geomagnetic storms that knock out GPS and radio communications and interfere with satellites.

As for the flare that hit Earth's magnetic field on Oct. 31st at ~10:00 UT, the resulting impact was much less than anticipated as it only caused a G1-class geomagnetic storm. The reason for the weakness, as reports, is that majority of the CME missed Earth, which stands as an example that current computer models used to predict the events of the Sun aren't always 100% correct as there are still many unknowns about the Sun and its processes. More simply put, it's difficult to predict the motions of a celestial object located 93 million miles away.

The solar flare did cause auroras to appear in the sky in some locations around the world. One photographer, Harlan Thomas, snapped the below image in Alberta, Canada, just before sunrise.

NASA confirms massive solar flare hits Earth, officials record impact 01 |

Thomas said, "It was a short-lived event. The auroras were active and battled the twilight until about 45 minutes before the Sun came up."

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science and space news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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