October 18, 2021

Solar flare scare: ‘Sun eruption’ puts SA authorities on alert

SANSA has not ruled out the possibility that some parts of the world could be impacted by “severe storm levels”.

Solar flare scare: ‘Sun eruption’ puts SA authorities on alert

Solar flare scare: ‘Sun eruption’ puts SA authorities on alert photo credit: Canva

The South African National Space Agency (SANSA) has issued a warning that a “solar flare event” could disrupt communications and mess with satellite positioning systems this week.

A G2 storm has been caused by an eruption on the sun, which is set to alter the geomagnetic conditions above earth.

SANSA (based in Hermanus in the Western Cape) issued an alert via a written statement on Tuesday that things like GPS operations and radio communication between planes and air traffic controllers are left vulnerable by this sun eruption and it’s understood that “moderate disruptions” are now presenting themselves across the world.

“An eruption on the Sun a few days ago produced a Coronal Mass Ejection that is now showing its effects on the Earth’s magnetic field.  Magnetometer readings around the world are showing moderate disruptions.  A disturbance of this size is a G2 storm on the NOAA scale, which goes from 1 (minor) to 5 (extreme). A G2 storm can disrupt communication with spacecraft and require updates to satellite position calculations from increased drag.  At high latitudes, High-Frequency radio communication with aircraft can be impacted. South Africa is at 35 degrees latitude, so the forecast for local radio disruption and power systems impact is minimal.”

Although this solar flare is very far from being anything like an apocalypse movie, even the threat of minor storms (cause by these eruptions on the sun) is enough to pose a serious threat to some industries.

SANSA has not ruled out the possibility that some parts of the world could be impacted by “severe storm levels”.

Sources: MSN, Wired24

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