The large solar flares can pose a danger to astronauts and technological systems on Earth, but they are very difficult to foresee, although now a new method, based on physics, has been presented that makes predicting them more reliable.
A study that publishes Science presents the kappa-schema model, which has been tested analyzing the data from the Solar Dynamics Observatory of the POT from 2008 to 2019, which was able to identify the time, place and size “of most” of the major eruptions, “up to 20 hours in advance.”
The model, created by a team from Nagohya University (Japan) led by Kanya Kusano, uses a scheme based on the magnetohydrodynamics, which studies the dynamics of electrically conductive fluids in the presence of electric and magnetic fields.
This new approach makes it possible to predict, as the magazine explains, when a large solar flare is imminent and how much energy it could release, using routine magnetic observations of the Sun.
Solar flares – massive bursts of electromagnetic radiation, plasma, and charged particles in the outer atmosphere of the Sun– are triggered by the sudden release of energy stored in the magnetic fields that occur around visible sunspots.
These are the origin of the solar storms, which can pose a danger to astronauts, spacecraft, and technology systems on the ground, such as power grids and radio communications.
Despite decades of study and near-continuous monitoring of the Sun’s magnetic activity, the specific conditions and mechanisms that flares produce remain unknown, making them particularly difficult to predict.