New Delhi: The sun emitted what NASA is calling a "significant" solar flare on Saturday causing radio blackout for several minutes, could recur in the next few days hurting aviation and communication systems, scientists have warned.
The center reported that the solar flare could affect satellites and cause GPS errors.
Electrical power lines could be hit by extra current, and high frequency communications could be blocked when the radiation hits Earth.
Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. While the harmful radiation from the flare cannot pass through the Earth's atmosphere, sometimes they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where communications signals travel.
On Saturday, the brief X1-class flare erupted from a decaying sunspot and this was captured on video by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory.
Indian Centre for Space Physics (ICSP), which works in association with ISRO and NASA, had carried out several balloon-borne experiments in April-May 2013 and were alarmed with the astonishing results. These were presented at the European Space Agency Conference.
Suhas Naik-Satam, programme co-ordinator (scientific) at the Nehru Planetarium in Mumbai, said, “The effect on the satellite system cannot be ruled out and therefore all sectors heavily dependent on such communications systems will have to stay alert.”
The solar cycle should have ideally peaked in 2011. But the active phase started late.
Experts claim that the severity of the situation will depend upon the location and path of the satellite.