Free Second Biggest Flare Essay Sample

The models of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have provided more information regarding the two coronal mass ejections (CME) that have a close association with two flares that occurred in March 2012 (NASA, 2012). These models use data from the Solar Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) and the Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO). The first CME is travelling at about 2100 kilometers per second while the second CME is travelling at about 1800 kilometers per second. The models of NASA predict that the coronal mass ejections will affect Earth and Mars, as well as the spacecrafts of NASA. For instance, effects of CME on Earth can include severe geomagnetic storms, which will disrupt high frequency radio communications, power grids, and global positioning systems (NASA, 2012).

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On March 6, 2012, the Sun erupted with a large solar flare categorized as an X5.4, which was the second largest to a flare that occurred on August 9, 2011 categorized as an X6.9. The Sun erupted with another flare categorized as an X1.3 in the same day when it erupted with an X5.4 flare. The number of large flares increases as part of the normal 11-year solar cycle of the Sun, during which the Sun’s activity builds up to solar maximum that astronomers expect to peak in 2013. The X-class flares erupted from AR 1429, which is an active region on the Sun that rotated into view on March 2, 2012 (NASA, 2012).

The X-class flares have dumped magnetic fields and solar particles in the atmosphere of the Earth, which distorted the magnetic fields of the earth (NASA, 2012). The flares interfered with short wave radio and radio navigation. In association with the flares, the Sun also ejected two CMEs traveling at about 1000 kilometers per second. The Sun had erupted an X6.5 and X9.0 in 2006 on December 6 and December 5 respectively (NASA, 2012).


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