The sun’s awake? The biggest flare since 2017

BEIJING, June 2 (Xinhua) — The sun may wake up from its slumber after the sun erupted in the past few days as the biggest flare event since 2017, according tomedia reports. On May 29, the solar eruption was the strongest flare event since October 2017, as observed by NASA’s Solar Observation Dynamics Observatory.

The sun's awake? The biggest flare since 2017

  On May 29, the solar eruption was the strongest flare event since October 2017, which was discovered by NASA’s Solar Observation Dynamics Observatory.

Solar flares are radiation that occurs when sunspots erupt, which are areas of brief darkness and relatively low temperatures on the sun’s surface and have a strong magnetic field. Scientists divided strong flare events into three levels: C, M and X, and M-rated flares were 10 times stronger than C-levels, but 10 times weaker than X-rated flares.

The Eruption on May 29th was an M-class flare, so it was not the strongest flare event, and the flare outbreak did not face the Earth, so there would be no super aurora phenomenon from coronal mass ejection. However, NASA officials say the flare outbreak could still be a sign that solar activity is entering a more active phase in its 11-year cycle. If so, the recent solar cycle, solar cycle 24, may be over, and we are about to usher in a new cycle of solar activity, solar cycle 25.

Scientists set the start time of the new cycle as a “solar activity mini-period”, i.e. the period during which the sun has the least sunactivity and the least sunspots, and six months of solar observation and sunspot count after the solar activity minimum, to know when the next flare event will occur.

Because the minimum solar activity is defined by the minimum number of sunspots in a cycle, scientists need to observe a steady increase in the number of sunspots before they can determine when sunspots are at the bottom. This means that it may take 6-12 months to determine when the minion period actually occurs. (Ye Ding Cheng)

The sun's awake? The biggest flare since 2017