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National Center for Space Weather warns of strong solar flares in next few days
Published on: 2024-05-07
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China's National Center for Space Weather on Sunday issued a solar flare warning as a strong solar flare (X1.3-class) erupted from the sun. Other strong solar flares may erupt in the next three days, the center said.

The X1.6 class solar flare erupted at 2:01 pm Sunday Beijing time and had an impact on the ionosphere over China. It is expected that in the next three days, there is still a possibility of M-class or X-class solar flares, said the center in its warning.

Solar flares are large explosions from the surface of the Sun that emit intense bursts of electromagnetic radiation, which can last mere minutes. They are rated based on their strength, with A-class as the smallest, followed by B, C, M and X as the most potent, according to the Xinhua News Agency. They are one of the most intense sun phenomena, with a cycle of approximately 11 years. Their main observational characteristics are that a localized region of the solar atmosphere suddenly becomes brighter, often accompanied by enhancements in various energy bands of electromagnetic radiation and particle emissions, with a rapid increase in brightness and a slower decrease.

Although the lifespan of a solar flare is only a few minutes to dozens of minutes, the energy released is equivalent to the total energy of tens of thousands or even millions of strong volcanic eruptions, or equivalent to the explosion of billions of hydrogen bombs.

The 25th solar cycle peak of solar activity between January and October is predicted to be a period of "solar maximum," meaning the sun will reach its peak activity level for the current cycle in 2024.



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