NASA just verified that a solar flare was seen on the Sun’s lower center on October 28 and that this flare will result in a huge amount of radiation hitting Earth.
The flare was formally categorized as an X-1 flare, with X denoting the most intense level of intensity. Officials projected that the flare’s solar wind would hit Earth on October 30, and while their prediction was true in terms of timing, it was not accurate in terms of intensity. The flare’s coronal mass ejection (CME) was far less than expected, with the great majority of the flare simply missing Earth.
Whereas the effect of a CME can result in geomagnetic storms that disrupt satellite, GPS, and other signals, it can also result in the appearance of auroras in the sky. Auroras are caused by charged particles from the Sun’s solar wind colliding with particles in the Earth’s upper atmosphere. A glow can be seen in the sky as a result of the encounter. Skywatchers in some parts of the world were able to see the beautiful spectacle in the night sky.
These charged particles are subsequently channeled to Earth’s pole via the planet’s protective magnetic field, which explains why auroras are more prevalent towards the poles and at high latitudes (Northern/Southern lights).