Solar flares, blackouts, to solar storms: Know how space weather has affected Earth in the last 24 hours

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The last 24 hours have been quite a ride for Earth, owing to the Sun nearing the peak of its solar cycle. On November 2, two M-class solar flares erupted on the Earth-facing side of the Sun. Both the flares released extreme ultraviolet radiation directed towards our planet that sparked short-wave radio blackouts. The effects of these blackouts were seen in the American and African continent. Additionally, reports have confirmed that two separate coronal mass ejections (CME) will strike the Earth tomorrow, November 4, and can trigger a minor solar storm.

Solar storm can strike tomorrow

According to a report by, “One and perhaps two CMEs could graze Earth’s magnetic field on Nov. 4th. Individually, neither CME is particularly significant, but together they could spark a minor G1-class geomagnetic storm. This is especially true if one sweeps up the other to form a Cannibal CME”.

This is expected to be a minor solar storm, meaning that it will spark auroras and can cause disruptions for some radio waves, resulting in likely disruption of communication for mariners, aviators, drone pilots, and amateur radio operators.

Blackouts triggered on Earth

As per a post by the official X handle of Space Weather Live, two short-wave radio blackouts struck the Earth yesterday at 5:57 PM and 11:57 PM. These two were triggered by separate solar flare eruptions. It is unclear whether they have released any CME waves, but it should be known soon.

The role of the NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory

The NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) carries a full suite of instruments to observe the Sun and has been doing so since 2010. It uses three very crucial instruments to collect data from various solar activities. They include the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI) which takes high-resolution measurements of the longitudinal and vector magnetic field over the entire visible solar disk, Extreme Ultraviolet Variability Experiment (EVE) which measures the Sun’s extreme ultraviolet irradiance, and Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) which provides continuous full-disk observations of the solar chromosphere and corona in seven extreme ultraviolet (EUV) channels.

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