Sun flares disrupts communications

System administrators can blame the heavens for outages as sunspot activity could wreak havoc with wireless and copper-based networks.

Solar flares on the visible side of the sun have resulted in radio blackouts over the past month and could cause more, warned security advisory group E-Secure IT.

Violent sunspot activity, which is believed to have been the source of three large coronal mass ejections on the far side of the sun beginning on July 16, will rotate across the visible side of the sun over the next two weeks. This region of the sun, designated as Region 39, is expected to produce more solar activity leading to a possible geomagnetic storm, said E-Secure IT, citing findings by US-based space weather advisory National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Space Environment Centre forecasters.

Major flares from two large, complex sunspot groups resulted in three radio blackouts that reached category R3 (strong) on the NOAA space weather scales on July 15, July 18 and July 20.

NOAA warned of a possible major geomagnetic storm to begin early on July 29 and continue into July 30. Geomagnetic storms can lead to problems with electrical power systems, spacecraft operations, communications systems, and some navigational systems.

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