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Is there more UV rays emitted / do we have more chance of sun burn from Solar Flares?

  1. Jan 19, 2012 #1
    Hey all,

    I wake up with morning to find an email from spaceweather which says:

    EARTH-DIRECTED FLARE: Active sunspot 1401 erupted today, Jan. 19th, for more than an hour around 16:00 UT. The long-duration blast produced an M3-class solar flare and a CME that appears to be heading toward Earth. Forecasters say strong geomagnetic storms are possible when the cloud arrives during the late hours of Jan. 21st. High-latitude (and possibly middle-latitude) sky watchers should be alert for auroras this weekend.

    I am wondering is there more chance of Sun burn if I am out in the sun (stronger UV rays???) when there is such an event?

    Interested to know.

    Any help would be great
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 20, 2012 #2
    Re: Is there more UV rays emitted / do we have more chance of sun burn from Solar Fla

    According to NASA Science News there is really nothing to worry about for two reasons:

    1. The ultraviolet rays produced during solar maximum differ from the sunburn-causing ones
    2. Their activity increases the ozone layer protection by 1 or 2 percent during Solar Maximum

    Of course the higher the altitude the less protection and not everyone lives at sea level nor remains there as they travel. So it's always a good idea to use a sunscreen even before solar maximums. There is also an atmospheric area near Australia in which the ozone layer has thinned out considerably. So people living under that anomaly should always take extra precautions.

    Last edited: Jan 20, 2012
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