NASA is reporting a solar storm with an X8.7 classification

Last Friday and Saturday, among others, the Northern Lights were seen over large parts of Europe (Also in Nuremberg), which was triggered by a series of relatively strong solar flares. These are now increasing: NASA is now reporting almost daily, and sometimes multiple times in a day, about new eruptions that could trigger geomagnetic storms when they hit Earth, such as Friday and Saturday.

Especially high energy

A strong burst was recorded at 6:51 pm on Tuesday: NASA is talking about an X-ray intensity of X8.7 magnitude – that is 870 µW/m². It is the strongest solar storm since 2005 when it reached a value of X17. However, the eruptions have been weak for the past few days. They mostly ranged between X1.0 and X2.0, once reaching X3.9.

They are: NASA

One of the solar flares currently recorded by NASA. This can be seen on the right.

However, since solar storms do not directly hit Earth, the new outburst is not expected to have a significant impact on Earth. Creating new northern lights is unlikely – and vulnerable systems such as satellite communications must also be secure. As the current eruptions continue to accumulate, solar storms may almost certainly recur on Earth in the near future.

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But these are unlikely to be really dramatic. Even the strongest solar storm measured to date in 2003, classified as X45, resulted in “only” isolated satellite malfunctions and a few power outages. Then, these can be fixed within an hour.

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They are: NASA / B.R

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