Home > Cosmic Craziness > Sun Shoots Out Massive X-Class Solar Flare, Sparks Temporary Radio Blackout

Sun Shoots Out Massive X-Class Solar Flare, Sparks Temporary Radio Blackout

Fortunately, it’ll be a shot across the bow and not a direct hit, this time …

By Tariq Malik, Fox News – “The sun erupted with one of the strongest solar flares it can unleash early Friday, just days after firing off an intense solar storm at Earth.

The major solar flare, which registered as an X1.7-class solar event on the space weather scale, peaked at 4:01 a.m. EDT (0801 GMT), according to an alert by the NOAA-run Space Weather Prediction Center. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured video of the X1.7 solar flare, which followed several smaller sun storms over the last few days.

The sun storm erupted from a new sunspot cluster called Region 1882 and sparked a temporary radio blackout, SWPC officials said in an update. But it is not aimed directly at Earth and is not currently expected to be ‘geo-effective,’ meaning that it should not spark a major geomagnetic storms in Earth’s magnetic field, they added.

Astronomers classify solar flares into three categories — C, M and X — with C being the weakest and X the strongest. When aimed directly at Earth, X-class sun eruptions can interfere with satellite-based communications and navigation systems, endanger astronauts in orbit.

That does not appear to be the case with the X1.7-class flare, according to an SWPC update, though officials are awaiting additional imagery of the solar flare to see if it was associated with a massive explosion of super-hot plasma — known as a coronal mass ejection — that can hurl solar material into space at more than 1 million mph.

Friday’s X1.7 solar flare occurred just hours after a more moderate M-class solar flare and two days after an intense M9.4-class solar flare on Wednesday. That M9.4 solar flare was associated with a coronal mass ejection.” Read more.

Categories: Cosmic Craziness
  1. 10/25/2013 at 2:07 PM



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