Powerful solar flare erupts from hidden sunspot sparking widespread radio blackouts

Photo: NASA (Fair Use)

On May 16, a covert sunspot, partially concealed behind the sun’s southeast limb, unleashed a powerful M9.6 class solar flare.

Despite not directly facing Earth, the consequences of this eruption were still evident, Space reported.

The radiation emitted during the event caused a moderate radio blackout over certain regions of North America, Central America, and South America, as reported by NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center.

As the sun continues to rotate, the previously hidden sunspot will gradually move into Earth’s view.

By the upcoming weekend, it is expected to be directly facing our planet, bringing potential implications for space weather and further observations.

Despite being concealed by the solar disk, the M-flare had a significant impact, resulting in widespread radio blackouts.

The powerful burst of X-rays and extreme ultraviolet radiation emitted by the explosive flare traveled toward Earth at the speed of light.

In a little over eight minutes, the radiation reached our planet, penetrating the upper layer of the atmosphere known as the thermosphere.

This ionization process led to shortwave radio disruptions in the sunlit regions of Earth during that period.

Written by staff