Things could get spooky this Hallo-weekend and I’m not just talking about autumn’s iconic celebrations. Atop all of the other upcoming weekend events, a major solar flare originating from our solar system’s Sun could potentially disrupt power grids internationally.
According to the New York Post, our sun launched a massive flare yesterday, heading directly for Earth. The approaching storm stole now rates as the strongest in the current weather cycle.
As the solar flare approaches the earth, professionals believe the radiation resultant from the astronomical phenomenon could trigger the northern lights, in addition to disrupting the planet’s power grids.
For Outsiders unfamiliar with these phenomenon, first off, they do not pose any major harm to humans on Earth. Our atmosphere protects us from the most destructive consequences of solar flares though, as this upcoming one classifies as an X-1, we can expect power grid interruptions including loss of power in addition to major disruptions for GPS enabled tech as well as certain communication networks.
Already, the outlet stated regions of South America have already sustained a strong, temporary radio blackout.
Further, the Halloween flare’s X classification highlights the fact that the approaching solar storm will have pretty significant consequences. The New York Post detailed that NASA tracks these sorts of storms based on a letter scale. The weakest flares classify as “A” while the strongest sustain an “X” classification. For perspective, NASA logged an X-28 in 2003, however, the news outlet stated an X-1 is still pretty intense.
What is a ‘Solar Flare’?
Star gazers and outer space junkies should be all over this upcoming Halloween astronomical event. However, for Outsiders unsure of solar flares and how they occur, read on.
In technical terms, they result from coronal mass ejections. The ejections are basically explosions of toxic gases and plasma on the sun’s surface. While smaller expulsions take place rather regularly, causing the regular appearances of our northern and southern lights, others, like the approaching solar flare, have much more noticeable affects on the planet and humans’ every day habits.
Of the approaching solar flare, space weather physicist Dr. Tamitha Skov said excitedly, “A direct hit for Halloween! The solar storm launched during the X-flare today is indeed Earth-directed.”
The physicist also explained where we might expect the most intense effects. They wrote, “Expect aurora to mid-latitudes, as well as GPS reception issues and amateur radio disruption’s on Earth’s nightside!”
So, essentially, I guess depending on where Outsiders live across the country, we might expect an even spookier than normal Halloween night of fun as the coming solar flare may leave us, quite literally, in the dark.