More Solar Flares Expected This Week

An X-class solar flare that could cause worldwide transmission issues and blackouts is expected to occur this week.

That’s the word from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which reports a number of radio blackouts already occurred Sunday when three solar flares were recorded – although officials didn’t say where the blackouts happened. NOAA scientists – as well as officials with Moscow’s Fedorov Institute of Applied Geophysics – believe X-class solar flares are on the way as early as Monday evening, according to the agency. NASA defines X-class solar flares as “explosions on the surface of the sun” that can last for hours.

“Large flares can release enough energy to power the entire United States for a million years,” according to NASA. “A powerful X-class flare … can create long-lasting radiation storms, which can harm satellites, and even give airline passengers flying near the poles small radiation doses. X flares also have the potential to create global transmission problems and worldwide blackouts.”