Sun Released a Strong X-class Solar Flare, Causing a Rare ‘Solar Tsunami’

Written by Reananda Hidayat Permono Completed Master of Science - MS, Petroleum Geology from Curtin University, Perth, Australia.

The sun released an X-class solar flare, the most potent energy sun can emit, that triggered a rare ‘solar tsunami’ across the sun’s surface.

It also released an intense burst of radiation that impacted radio blackouts on Earth.

Interestingly, a radio astronomer could capture the rare sound of the solar storm slamming the Earth’s atmosphere.

The spaceweather.com website recorded an X-class solar flare on Feb. 17.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) had forecasted a slight chance of an X-class solar flare on that day.

But it believed the threat would come from a large sunspot AR3226.

Hence, astronomers were caught off guard by the blast from a sunspot AR3229 instead, with a magnitude of 2.2.

A solar tsunami is a giant wave of hot plasma that can accelerate up to 901,000 km/h (560,000 mph) across the photosphere.

According to NASA, it can reach heights of 100,000 km (62,150 miles). The solar flare spat out a Type II solar radio burst that hit Earth shortly after the outburst.

There are five categories of solar radio bursts; Type V is the strongest, and Type I is the weakest.

The radiation caused minor radio blackouts across some parts of the Americas for an hour.

Solar flares are divided into classes of A, B, C, M, and X; each type is ten times more powerful than the previous one.

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