July 17 (Reuters) – Powerful solar flare activity is forecast for Monday, which could interfere with shortwave communications, Russian scientists said after three flares were spotted on the sun on Sunday.
The Fedorov Institute of Applied Geophysics in Moscow said class X flares, including proton flares, are possible and shortwave radio conditions are expected to worsen.
X-class flares can create massive explosions and long-lasting radiation storms in solar systems. A proton flare is a storm of solar energy particles that is mainly composed of protons.
Solar flares occur when the powerful magnetic fields around the Sun recombine. According to NASA, they can affect Earth’s magnetic field with the potential to damage satellites and communications equipment.
In 2022, a geomagnetic storm triggered by large amounts of radiation from the Sun knocked out 40 of the newly launched SpaceX satellites.
Three solar flares were observed on Sunday, the Fedorov Company said, lasting 14 minutes, disrupting radio communications.
Reporting by Lydia Kelly in Melbourne; Editing by Stephen Coates
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