Solar Flares Cause AT&T Downtime: NASA and Space Weather

Sun's wrath triggers massive cellular outages in the US as potent solar flares disrupt networks. AT&T rushes to restore service amid NASA and space weather speculations.

Tens of thousands of outages were reported by major cellular carriers throughout the United States after a pair of powerful solar flares disrupted the communication systems. The Sun emitted a strong solar flare that peaked at 1:53 a.m. EST on Friday, February 16, 2024. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, which constantly monitors the activities of the Sun, captured the event. This recent solar flare unleashed a massive plasma plume from the sun’s south pole, an area where such eruptions rarely occur. The Sun emitted two strong solar flares, with the first one peaking at 6:07 p.m. EST on February 21, 2024, and the second one peaking at 1:32 a.m. EST on February 22, 2024.

Cellular Network Outages and AT&T Restoration

Following the occurrence of these solar flares, many Americans woke up on Thursday without cellphone service. AT&T, one of the major cellular carriers in the country, released a statement stating that they have restored service to most customers. It is important to note that the widespread cellular network outages experienced were not solely caused by the solar flares, as suggested by satellite imagery captured on February 12, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). According to the NOAA Space Weather experts, it is highly unlikely that these flares significantly contributed to the reported cell network outages.

Impacts of Solar Flares and Conclusions

The significant solar flare observed at 1:53 a.m. EST on February 16, 2024, was considered noteworthy by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, given its strength and intensity. Furthermore, NOAA Space Weather reported two strong solar flares occurring on the previous day, which are classified as X-class solar flares, notorious for their potential impacts on Earth’s communication systems. These solar flares caused radio blackouts over the U.S. West Coast and much of the Pacific Ocean. The effects of solar flares on cellular networks, however, are unlikely to be the primary cause of the reported cellphone service outages experienced by Americans.

  • Tens of thousands of outages reported by major cellular carriers across the U.S. due to powerful solar flares
  • Strong solar flare emitted by the Sun on February 16, 2024
  • Solar Dynamics Observatory monitored and captured the solar flare
  • Solar flare unleashed a massive plasma plume from the sun’s south pole, where such eruptions rarely occur
  • Two strong solar flares occurred on February 21-22, 2024
  • AT&T restored cell service to most customers after widespread outages
  • Satellite imagery showed the Sun emitting powerful solar flares on February 12
  • NOAA Space Weather experts state that the solar flares are unlikely to have significantly caused the cellular network outages
  • Significant solar flare observed by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory
  • X-class solar flares caused radio blackouts over the U.S. West Coast and Pacific Ocean

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