Powerful Solar Flare

Triggers Radio Blackout in Western US

23rd February, 2024


● A major solar flare erupted from the Sun, causing a temporary radio blackout across the Western United States. ● This disruption highlights the potential impact of solar activity on our communication systems.

What is a Solar Flare?

● Solar flares are intense bursts of radiation from the Sun's surface. ● They occur when magnetic energy stored in sunspots is suddenly released. ● Flares are classified by strength: X-class flares are the strongest, followed by M-class, C-class, and smaller flares.

This Solar Flare's Details 

● Flare Classification: (State the X, M, or C classification of the flare) ● Date and Time: (Date and time it occurred) ● Impact: Radio blackout over the Western US

How Flares Cause Blackouts

● Intense X-ray and ultraviolet radiation from a flare ionizes Earth's upper atmosphere. ● This disrupts the layer that reflects radio waves used for communication. ● The impact is strongest on the sunlit side of Earth at the time of the flare.

Potential Impacts of Solar Flares 

● Radio blackouts can affect communication for: ◉ Amateur radio operator ◉ Emergency responder ◉ Aviation ● More severe flares could disrupt satellite systems and power grids.