May 20th to be the Largest Solar Flare Of 2016
April 12, 2016
According to research by MTSI’s Dr. David J Maker, the sun will experience several large flares beginning about May 2nd, peak with the May 20th flaring being the largest, and end May 26th. This projection is based on a Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) plasma physics model derived by Dr. Maker that accurately predicts the largest solar flares well into the future.
“In contrast to alternative methods that mostly use sunspot shape, and are not even that accurate to two days in advance, this model can predict solar flares as accurately 100 years in advance as it can one day in advance,” said Maker.
Maker’s method has been validated previously by successfully detecting select large flares. In the event that the May 20th flare occurs on the back side of the sun, the effects should still be detected by stereo satellite backside imagery or from the later flares within the same active group that rotate to the front side.
The capability to predict the largest solar flares has become increasingly important. A recent White House study covered by the Washington Post concluded that the impact from a large solar flare could result in a trillion dollars’ worth of infrastructure damage. The destruction would result from large power grid transformers burning out with the many ensuing economic dislocations caused by a long duration power outage.