Solar flaring warning issued

2011-05-30 13:09

Cape Town - The Space Weather Centre has warned that the sun is undergoing some instability, which has implications for electronic communications.

"There is a very active area on the sun as rotated onto the invisible solar disc. This active area has got the potential for more flaring for the next five to six days," space weather forecaster Kobus Olckers of the Space Weather Warning Centre at the Hermanus Magnetic Observatory told News24.

He said that communications and electronic systems might be affected.

"The internet could be a little slower for the next week or so and especially long distance communications."

Polar routes

Scientists recognise three major categories of solar flares. X-class flares are big and are major events that can trigger planet-wide radio blackouts. M-class flares are medium-sized; they can cause brief radio blackouts that affect Earth's polar regions. C-class flares are small with few noticeable consequences here on Earth.

The space weather website says that small to medium (C- and M-class) flaring on the sun may occur in the next few days.

"More M-class flaring has been detected. C-class flaring underway with D-layer absorption over the region," it said on Monday.

The D-layer is the innermost layer of the ionosphere, about 60km to 90km above the earth's surface. There was also a prediction of a coronal mass ejection (CME) in the outlook.

"A new active area capable of flaring is rapidly growing on the solar disk. Flaring is certain. There is also a possibility of CME activity which could cause further trouble when the new active area becomes geo-effective."

Olckers said that aeroplanes on polar routes may be diverted as those planes could be affected. Scientists are watching the sun over the short term to determine whether there is any danger.


"That active area isn't in a geo-effective position at the moment. It will be in an active area in about five to six days from now," said Olckers.

"We will keep you posted and see how it develops. It's rapidly developing at the moment but it can get into a non-threatening format over the next few days," he added.

He said that people need not take any special precautions.

"The levels of X-rays aren't enough to really affect biological systems. This time around its technological systems."

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  • IandI - 2011-05-30 13:33

    Reverend/pastor this the rapture you predicted for May 21st by any chance :-)?

      stephen scott - 2011-05-30 14:50

      Faith, the act of non-thinking

  • Fazer - 2011-05-30 13:34

    and people still think/believe that God doesn't exist.

      Sean - 2011-05-30 13:55

      how exactly does this prove god exists?

      Sasha25 - 2011-05-30 14:16

      I would also like to know how this proves that God exist!

      Uwe Klopfer - 2011-05-30 14:42

      im a Christian myself but dude, if you are trying to "prove" that God exists this sure isn't going to work. And you can't prove He exists, if you think you can convince someone with no faith with proof about something that is inheritantly (spelling??) about faith you will fail, just as you have done. Instead of trying to convince people with non-proofing proofs rather show that by your life, deeds and actions that God is the way to go. Thus if someone asks you were do you find your inner peace etc then you tell them, but trying to force what you believe down someone else throat by making senseless statements like yours will simply confirm their own suspicions about most so called "Christians". Faith is a gift and shoving a gift unto someone that doesn't really want it (yet hopefully) will get you nothing more than a kick in the balls.

      Bonkers - 2011-05-30 15:36

      @nixcroft You sir, have my respect!

      UyeahU - 2011-06-04 02:54

      I am both a Christian and love science, I am curious enough about the world to have studied zoology, botany, minerals, light, magnetism, space, ecology, theories of time and dimensions, etc. I do not profess to understand it all (what man does?), however I have a pretty good working knowledge of the disciplines. Yet I often wonder how many people that claim to be scientists have ever taken the time to study doctrines of faith and specifically the Bible, for it says, "faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." If people are Scripturally illiterate, what right do they have to comment on matters of theology? It's easy to say, "I don't believe the Bible," but what don't you believe about it? Its historical accuracy, its inspiration, its prophesy, the existence of people, places and events described? The Bible nowhere tries to prove the existence of God, it takes that as fact and all else follows from there. We used to be a Biblically literate society, even if you were and atheist or agnostic you had pretty good idea of what Scripture said, and during this same period of time there were also great scientific advancements. Even people like Charles Darwin, who may not have been an Evangelical Christian, believed in God, as the last sentence of his famous "Origin Of Species" indicates. Christians are so often thought of as narrow minded, yet there seems to be so much hatred of believers by atheists, as if one man's faith it going to reach out and attack the unbeliever.

      Mark - 2012-01-24 11:16

      What has god got to do with this???????????????????????

  • Miss Q - 2011-05-30 13:47

    Yeah good one Vodacom, nice try! Now get off your asses and fix your damn network please...

  • Sasha25 - 2011-05-30 14:25

    Although the cause of flares is not completely understood, they are known to be associated with the magnetic field of the Sun. One favored explanation is that they occur when magnetic fields in the Sun pointing in opposite directions interact strongly with each other. Such a situation can be brought about by the churning motion of solar material near the surface, and is more likely during periods of the active sun. Thus, there typically is a correlation between the frequency of flares and the number of sunspots. THIS CERTAINLY DOES NOT PROVE THAT GOD EXISTS.

      Uwe Klopfer - 2011-05-30 14:45

      as stated above I believe God does exist, and as per my post above I agree with you. This does not prove anything except that Solar activity can and does affect communications on earth, makes for pretty northern and southern lights and that we don't understand our nearest star as well as we would like to think.

      Johan - 2011-05-30 16:20

      Unless believe that the sun is god like the Egyptians did. Haha.

      Henry - 2011-05-30 19:46

      @Johan, don't Christians also believe in the Son?

      Leland - 2011-05-31 10:33

      yeah durr Christianity is a celestial worshiping religion.. look up the enneagram.. it's basically esoteric christianity. literally, actually. if you want to know more about how major religions all date back to celestial worship/astrology (anGELS really is anGLES of the planets...)

  • Spoofed - 2011-05-30 14:53

    That is a VERY nice picture News24 thank you!

      Tiens - 2011-05-30 17:08

      ...and a rare example of some very nice science reporting by News24. Compliments to the reporter.

  • 50something - 2011-05-30 15:31

    Looking at the photograph, I though the crab nebula was somewhere else in space, not on the surface of the sun (joke)

  • mythan01 - 2011-05-30 15:42

    These happenings are awkwardly hilarious. This from watching the truely horrid 2012 film last night.

  • YodaOnCrack - 2011-05-30 15:49


  • Stanton - 2011-05-30 15:56

    I love nature and her beauty , this is not God you simpletons its Nature at its best.

      Looter - 2011-05-30 17:29

      God or no God, takes nothing away from the power and beauty of such a spectacle, these events can be so big they can dwarf our planet! BOOM!

  • treasuredhan - 2011-05-31 04:31

    I have been predicted in an Indian Astrologicial Magzine, Express Star Teller and in, based on vedic astrology, since 2010 , that there would be huge solar flare on June 13 2011.

  • treasuredhan - 2011-05-31 04:45

    I had made a prediction in an Indian Leading Astrological Magzine Express Star Teller, and in, I had predicted that there could be big solar flare which could be alarming

  • Peter - 2011-05-31 07:14

    The sun has presented flareups ever since it was created.

  • kevin.moreland2 - 2012-01-24 09:47

    hang on what has this article got to do with whether god exists or not?

  • Arend - 2012-01-24 12:50

    Thought........ Rather live like there is a God. Than live like there is no God. If there is no God then so be it. If there is a God wouldn’t you have rather lived like there was........?

  • Arend - 2012-01-24 12:51

    Thought........ Rather live like there is a God. Than live like there is no God. If there is no God then so be it. If there is a God wouldn’t you have rather lived like there was........?

      jostheron - 2012-01-24 13:27

      I think God would know if you don't truly believe in him...

  • Moobi - 2012-01-24 14:10

    Can somebody tell me have you received national warnings in South Africa regarding this.

  • Heinrich - 2012-01-24 14:41

    hahahahaha oh, the holy peoples. I dont know about anyone else but that was one hell of a solar flare, I am dead hungry.

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