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Dazzling video shows a massive 3-hour solar flare on the Sun

Published Jun 20th, 2022 8:49AM EDT
A big sun surface with solar flares.
Image: joelia / Adobe

Solar flares have become more and more common in our Sun in recent months. As our star continues to flex its magnetic power, we’re sure to see more. Now, though, a solar flare video created using images from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory gives us a dazzling view of the most recent flare-up.

This solar flare video is absolutely stunning

The video was captured using Helioviewer.org and uploaded to YouTube. The solar flare video showcases a growing sunspot known as AR3032. The sunspot exploded on June 13, creating an M3-class solar flare. The flare itself lasted nearly three hours, according to Space.com.

The solar flare seen in the video was so powerful, that it created a radio blackout over Japan and southeast Asia. As such, radio operators in the area may have noticed some unusual effects during the flare. The solar flare also blasted a massive coronal mass ejection (CME) into space.

The CME is expected to pass close to Earth later this week. A simulation by the NOAA suggests it could hit as early as June 15. If it does, the solar flare’s CME could create geomagnetic storms around the world.

What’s a geomagnetic storm?

Earth magnetic field with solar flare could cause electron rainImage source: koya979 / Adobe

While the solar flare video is exciting to see and dazzling to look at, the energy out Sun throws out is nothing to joke about. As I noted above, the CME that it ejected is set to pass close to Earth. When a CME hits Earth’s magnetic field, a number of things can happen.

For one, the storms can create more auroras, which are beautiful light shows in the sky. We’ve seen a number of auroras over the years, and they can even be seen on other planets like Mars, too. But CMEs also bring some adverse results too.

What the solar flare video doesn’t show, is the changes in the Earth’s radiation belts, and even the currents in our magnetosphere. These are all changes that can lead to other effects on the planet, including magnetic disturbances of technology around the world. You can learn more about geomagnetic storms on the NOAA’s website.

Ultimately, being able to see the solar flare in video form is dazzling. But, it is important to remember just how dangerous these events are for Earth and other planets. It’s also worth noting that we’ll probably continue to see more solar flares popping up in the coming months, too. That’s because our Sun is steadily building towards the peak of its activity cycle. Scientists expect it to peak in 2025.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices. Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.