Since past one week there is much news about solar flares. A flare is defined as a sudden, rapid, and intense variation in brightness. A solar flare occurs when magnetic energy that has built up in the solar atmosphere is suddenly released. The amount of energy released is the equivalent of millions of 100-megaton hydrogen bombs exploding at the same time! It is reported that even yesterday two new solar flares erupted, blasting streams of plasma and charged particles into space. The picture at the top of this article shows an active region on Sun, seen as the bright spot to the right. This spot, designated as AR 1429 has in the past couple of days produced three X-class flares and numerous M-class flares. Space weather scientists use five categories to rank solar flares – A, B, C, M and X, based on their strength and severity. A-class flares are the weakest types of sun storms, while X-class flares are the most powerful eruptions.
The precise and total affects of much stronger solar flares is not clearly known, however there is theoretical and practical proof of it affecting all forms of electronic communication with a severe threat to all space satellites and telecommunications. Long term affects are not precisely known but scientists suspect highly disturbed weather patterns and an increase in risk of earthquakes or volcanic eruptions at vulnerable locations. Some scientists also predict intense medical and emotional consequences.
A solar tsunami; a giant explosion of energy from the Sun is predicted in 2013 or in the months following it, which could paralyze earth. All this information and predictions are very scary.