The sun released a colossal solar flare today, which has the capability to influence satellite communications and global positioning systems, the Centre of Excellence in Space Sciences India (CESSI) said.
"The X2.2 class solar flare eruption took place at 3:57 UTC (9.27 IST) from the solar magnetic active region AR12992," Dibyendu Nandi, Associate Professor and Coordinator of CESSI at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata told PTI.
Solar flares are high powered eruption of energy that can have an effect on radio communications, electric power grids, navigation signals, and pose risks to spacecraft and astronauts.
This flare is classified as an X-Class which designates the most intense flares, while the number dispenses more information about its strength.
"Strong ionospheric perturbation is ongoing over India, South East Asia and the Asia-Pacific regions. Expected high frequency communication blackouts, satellite anomalies, GPS scintillations, airline communication impacts," the CESSI said.
According to Dibyendu Nandi, the CESSI had forecasted the blast of an X-Class flare on April 18. He said the scientists at CESSI were examining the affect of the flare.
As maintained by NASA, the largest flares are known as 'X-class flares' on the basis of a classification system that divides solar flares according to their strength. The smallest ones are A-class (near background levels), followed by B, C, M and X, it said.
According to NASA, akin to the Richter scale for earthquakes, each letter represents a 10-fold rise in energy output. An X class flare is ten times an M class eruption and 100 times a C class flare.