Tuesday, March 25, 2008

M-Class Solar Flares Detected Today

Reprint from: Spaceweather.com

The Classification of X-ray Solar Flares
or "Solar Flare Alphabet Soup"

A solar flare is an explosion on the Sun that happens when energy stored in twisted magnetic fields (usually above sunspots) is suddenly released. Flares produce a burst of radiation across the electromagnetic spectrum, from radio waves to x-rays and gamma-rays. [more information]

Scientists classify solar flares according to their x-ray brightness in the wavelength range 1 to 8 Angstroms. There are 3 categories: X-class flares are big; they are major events that can trigger planet-wide radio blackouts and long-lasting radiation storms. M-class flares are medium-sized; they can cause brief radio blackouts that affect Earth's polar regions. Minor radiation storms sometimes follow an M-class flare. Compared to X- and M-class events, C-class flares are small with few noticeable consequences here on Earth.

This figure shows a series of solar flares detected by NOAA satellites in July 2000:

For More information double click icon under "solar observations."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Reports in Milford today indicated that Satellite TV was knocked out shortly after the flare memo.