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    US suffers radio blackouts after being hit by ANOTHER solar storm, NOAA says


    By Stacy Liberatore For Dailymail.com

    19:12 14 May 2024, updated 19:53 14 May 2024



    The sun has released another powerful stream of energized particles toward Earth – after an earlier round caused blackouts across the U.S.

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) showed disruptions over all of North America on Tuesday at about 12:51pm ET.

    The solar flare, classified as an X8.8, was the the strongest to come from this cycle which started in 2017. On Friday, they clocked a radio blackout level 3 (R3) on a scale from one to five.

    The stream launched from a sunspot that has been pummeling our planet for the last few days, which NOAA had said is the size of the spot that caused the worst solar storm in history.

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) showed communication disruptions over North and South America at around 12:51pm ET

    Space weather physicist Dr Tamitha Skov told DailyMail.com: ‘As for the big X-flare, it’s the biggest of the cycle thus far. 

    ‘It would have been our first R4-level radio blackout, but it was partially blocked by the sun. 

    ‘The region that fired the flare is now mostly behind the sun’s west limb so we can’t even see it anymore.’

    The current solar cycle started in mid-December 2016.

    ‘We are now in the solar maximum phase,’ Skov said.

    ‘It is hard to tell if we have passed through the peak of solar maximum or not. (I doubt it because I think this cycle will have two peaks, just like last cycle.) Time will tell.’

    The sunspot causing chaos in space is AR 3664, which grew to the size of the one that caused the 1859 Carrington event, which set telegraph stations on fire and cut communications worldwide.

    AR 3664 rotated out of the view from Earth Tuesday, but said goodbye with one final blast.

    The solar flare, classified as an X8.8, was the the strongest to come from this cycle yet, which began in 2017, clocking in as a high radio blackout level 3 (R3) on a scale from one to five
    The powerful X-class flare erupted from the sun a little more than two hours before blackouts were reported over the US

    Subatomic debris of electrons and protons from the flare could also hit our planet, which would cascade on the the surface.

    The particles have the ability to disrupt satellite communications, cause radiation hazard for astronauts and interfere with power grids on the ground. 

    NOAA had predicted a 60 percent chance of that happening Tuesday.

    The event, called a radiation storm, is guided by a magnetic field that curls out of the sun into our solar system.

    As the sun rotates, the magnetic fields that emanate from it bend as they flow passed the planets in its orbit, creating a spiral structure known as the Parker Spiral.

    Charged particles from a solar flare can become caught in these spirals, shooting them around back to Earth — when they would have otherwise missed our planet.

    Tuesday’s flare follows days of solar activity that caused NOAA had warned could have been the worst solar storm in 165 years.

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