On Saturday a powerful solar flare erupted, and the results were seen on Earth Wednesday. It was ranked as a “moderate” geomagnetic storm by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). And the afterglow was visible.
UPDATE: SpaceX Elon Musk announced that the geomagnetic storm-damaged 40 of the Starlink satellites launched last week. The damaged satellites will burn up in Earth’s atmosphere as they fall from low orbit space.
The solar flare released a coronal mass ejection coming from a sunspot named AR2936. The sunspot was increasing in size for two days before the solar flare occurred. SpaceWeather.com reported that the spot was big enough to “swallow our planet five times over.”
It was classified as an M-class flare. And this meant the initial geomagnetic storm shock could cause radio blackouts in the polar regions of Earth. If a storm is ranked an X-class, it means there is a high risk of planet-wide blackouts.
BREAKING 🚨: Last night a sunspot region produced an M1.1 (medium-sized) solar flare
Expected to safely impact Earth in a few days, creating spectacular auroras pic.twitter.com/FZDvZef41u
— Latest in space (@latestinspace) January 30, 2022