Two “significant” solar flares have blasted out of the Sun, including one which was the most powerful since 2006.
Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation and they disrupted radio communications over large areas of the Earth, said the Space Weather Prediction Centre (SWPC).
The SWPC said high-frequency radio experienced a wide area of blackouts, loss of contact for up to an hour over the sunlit side of Earth, and low frequency communication, used in navigation, was degraded for an hour.
NASA says radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth’s atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground.
However, when they are strong enough, they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel.
The flares took place early on Wednesday morning (US time).
One was clasisfied as an X2.2, while the second which happened three hours later was an X9.3 – the strongest since an X9.0 in 2006.
X-class flares are the most intense. The number indicates its strength.
An X2 is twice as powerful as an X1, while an X3 is three times as intense.