Sun Emits X6.9 Flare, May Disrupt Radio Communications

Posted on August 10, 2011

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From NASA:

On August 9, 2011 at 3:48 a.m. EDT, the sun emitted an Earth-directed X6.9 flare, as measured by the NOAA GOES satellite. These gigantic bursts of radiation cannot pass through Earth’s atmosphere to harm humans on the ground, however they can disrupt the atmosphere and disrupt GPS and communications signals. In this case, it appears the flare is strong enough to potentially cause some radio communication blackouts. It also produced increased solar energetic proton radiation — enough to affect humans in space if they do not protect themselves.

There was also a coronal mass ejection (CME) associated with this flare. CMEs are another solar phenomenon that can send solar particles into space and affect electronic systems in satellites and on Earth. However, this CME is not traveling toward and Earth so no Earth-bound effects are expected.

From RFIR:

Observed solar flux density as measured by Space Weather Canada remains unchanged at 92.7 sfu. Expect that to increase in the next few days with the potential for increased High Frequency (HF) propagation before and after sunset.

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