On March 11th, the sun spewed out a really big sun flare.NASA classified it as an an X2 flare. NASA classifies them on intensity. This is how they do it:
- X-class flares are big; they are major events that can trigger planet-wide radio blackouts and long-lasting radiation storms.
- M-class flares are medium-sized; they can cause brief radio blackouts that affect Earth's polar regions. Minor radiation storms sometimes follow an M-class flare. Compared to X- and M-class events,
- C-class flares are small with few noticeable consequences here on Earth.
The big dose of ultraviolet radiation from the flare hit the earth, ionizing the upper layers of the atmosphere.
This event lead to HF radio fade-outs and caused other communication problems from North to South America.
This impacted ham operators as well as boaters with intermittent or no communications at all. As of this hour the disturbance has since subsided.