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* - galaxy

Solar flares disrupted radio communications during 2017 hurricanes

Posted on 2018.07.30 at 22:38
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The Sun erupted in class X-9.3 and x-2.2 flares on 9/6/17, visible to NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory in extreme ultraviolet light.Credit: NASA/GSFC/SD

On September 6, three hurricanes advanced in a menacing line across the Atlantic Ocean. Category 5 Hurricane Irma ravaged Barbuda in the Caribbean's Leeward Islands in the early morning and churned onward to St. Marin, St. Barthelemy, Anguilla and the Virgin Islands, causing massive damage. Tropical Storm Katia hovered in the Gulf of Mexico and Tropical Storm Jose approached from the open ocean. Both were upgraded to hurricane status later that day.

On the surface of the Sun, 150 million kilometers (93 million miles) away, another storm was brewing. A class X-2.2 and major class X-9.3 solar flare erupted on the morning of September 6 at about 8 a.m. local time. NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center warned of a strong radio blackout over most the sunlit side of Earth, including the Caribbean.

Amateur radio operators assisting with emergency communications in the islands reported to the Hurricane Watch Net that radio communications went down for most of the morning and early afternoon on September 6 because of the Sun's activity, according to the new study. French civil aviation reported a 90-minute loss of communication with a cargo plane, according to the study's authors, and NOAA reported on September 14 that high frequency radio, used by aviation, maritime, ham radio, and other emergency bands, was unavailable for up to eight hours on September 6.

Another large class-X flare erupted from the Sun on September 10, disrupting radio communication for three hours. The disruption came as the Caribbean community coped with Category 4 Hurricane Jose's brush with the Leeward Islands and the Bahamas, and Irma's passage over Little Inagua in the Bahamas on September 8 and passage over Cuba on September 9.


Note: I was either posting about this at the time, or I was paralysed in bed with illness due to the solar activity. Eventually, I probably posted about the coincidence, which isn't as big a coincidence as we may think. For the record. To be reviewed later. See also tags. Note (e.g.): Observation of many coincidences of earthquakes, and meteors, have occurred in past, as I have noted. Due to larger forces.

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