The potential for infrastructure disruption by a solar flare ranks right up near EMP attacks and cyber attacks as some of the most dangerous facing Americans. On Monday, an X-class solar flare, the largest variety, reached Earth and disrupted radio and navigation signals in North America. Anugraha Sundaravelu reports in Metro:
The Sun has been very active lately, sending out scorching flares and frying communication systems back on Earth.
The latest one was recorded on Monday when an X-class solar flare disrupted radio and navigation signals across North America.
‘X-class’ solar flares are the largest, most disruptive of flares and this one, classified as an X1.5, likely disrupted high-frequency radio communications on the sunlit side of Earth.
According to the Met Office, the flare burst out of the largest and most active sunspot group currently visible on the Sun’s disk.
This was the 20th X flare of the current 11-year solar cycle, which is due to reach its peak next year.
Monday’s flare followed another weaker X-class solar flare just two days earlier. The activity was detected by Nasa’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) which captured an image of the action.
Solar flares are powerful bursts of energy that can impact radio communications, electric power grids, navigation signals, and pose risks to spacecraft and astronauts.
The Sun has seen a flurry of activity on its surface this year, with Nasa astronomers spotting multiple ‘coronal holes’ on our star.
The Sun’s magnetic field goes through a ‘solar cycle’ approximately every 11 years. We are currently in Solar Cycle 25, which forecasters didn’t expect to be this strong.
Nasa observes the Sun and our space environment constantly with a fleet of spacecraft that study everything from the Sun’s activity to the solar atmosphere, particles and magnetic fields in the space surrounding Earth.
Now, it may be on track to rival some of the stronger cycles of the 20th century.
Action Line: In the face of these threats to communications infrastructure, it’s a good idea to build some redundancy into your own life with a satellite phone. Also, having plenty of food and water on hand is always a great idea. Click here to subscribe to my free monthly Survive & Thrive letter, and become a Survivor.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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