The Sun Just Released The Biggest Solar Flare In 12 Years

The Sun Just Released The Biggest Solar Flare In 12 Years

As seen from the observatory, solar flares appear extremely bright areas on sun and they can last from minutes to several hours.

Yesterday, that same sunspot emitted an M-class solar flare - one-tenth the size of an X-class flare - leading to a coronal mass ejection aimed toward Earth that could cause auroras tonight as far south as OH and Indiana.

This is the biggest flare recorded since September 2005, when a huge an X17 flare was emitted by the Sun. The sun has a roughly 11-year cycle of solar activity as a result of the movements of its magnetic field, and the solar minimum is the period during which sunspot and solar flare activity bottom out.

One solar flare, rated as a moderate M5 on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's space weather scale, generated a wave of electrically charged particles that is now sweeping past Earth.

The first caught on camera by the team peaked at 6.15am (Eastern Standard Time) and was classified as an M7.3 flare, and the second one peaked at 10.36 (EST) and was an X1.3.

The Sun Just Released The Biggest Solar Flare In 12 Years
The Sun Just Released The Biggest Solar Flare In 12 Years

Experts say that the string of bursts on the Sun is a natural effect of the changes, which has happened in the solar corona over the last three days. The two eruptions occurred in an active region of the sun where an eruption of average intensity occurred on September 4. Five categories - A, B, C, M and X - are used to rank solar flares based on their intensity.

Solar storms result from an accumulation of magnetic energy in some places. A-class flares are the smallest explosions. X-class solar flares can cause radiation storms in Earth's upper atmosphere and trigger radio blackouts, as happened earlier this morning.

Sansa said the storms did not pose a danger to humans.

"This is a phase when such eruptions on the sun are increasingly rare, but history has shown that they can nonetheless be intense", Nasa said. In fact, the recent X-class flares have killed both high and low-frequency communication on Earth for an entire hour.

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