Solar flare predicted to hit Earth today sparking radio blackouts

SPACE Weather experts have predicted that a solar flare has a chance of hitting Earth today, which could end in a storm and radio blackouts.

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration think there’s a 40% an M-class flare could strike out on May 23.

The Sun has produced quite a lot of solar flares recently

The Sun has produced quite a lot of solar flares recentlyCredit: Getty

According to the experts at SpaceWeather.com: “Big sunspot AR3014 has an unstable ‘beta-gamma-delta’ magnetic field that harbors energy for strong explosions.

“NOAA forecasters estimate a 40% chance of M-class flares and a 5% chance of X-flares on May 23rd.”

Each solar storm that hits Earth is graded by severity.

An M-class flare is considered medium strength and if one hits Earth it can cause brief radio blackouts.

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X-class flares are much stronger and can cause planet-wide radio blackouts.

They can also cause long-lasting solar storms.

Solar flares are bursts of radiation from the Sun that sometimes hit Earth.

Nasa explains: “A solar flare is an intense burst of radiation coming from the release of magnetic energy associated with sunspots.”

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Adding: “Flares are also sites where particles (electrons, protons, and heavier particles) are accelerated.”

Solar flares can last just minutes or shoot out streams of radiation for hours.

The good news is, Earth largely protects us from the damaging impact of solar flares by using its magnetic field.

They’re not threatening to the health of humans on Earth but sometimes pose a threat to astronaut safety.

They can impact satellite communications as well as causing radio blackouts.

In 1989, a strong solar eruption shot so many electrically charged particles at Earth that the Canadian Province of Quebec lost power for nine hours.

Communications usually return to normal once a solar storm is over.

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One good thing about solar storms is that they can produce very pretty natural light displays like the Northern Lights.

Auroras are examples of the Earth’s magnetic field getting bombarded by the solar wind, which creates pretty green and blue displays.

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