A radiation storm has struck the Earth

The large sunspot AR3363 produced a powerful M6-class solar flare in the early morning hours of July 18. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory detected the explosion near the Sun’s southwestern limb.

The high-energy protons accelerated by the flare have reached Earth and are now penetrating the top of our planet’s atmosphere. It’s called a radiation storm. According to NOAA’s GOES-16 satellite, this is a category S2 event.

Although the explosion was not X-class, it was more powerful than many X-flares . Why? Because it lasted so long. The X-ray emission from the flare was above M5 for over an hour and above M1 for almost 4 hours. It had enough time to lift a substantial CMB out of the solar atmosphere.

Although the CME is not headed directly toward Earth, it appears to have an Earth-directed component. NASA’s model suggests it could deliver an effective glancing blow as early as July 20.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x