Sun unleashes strongest solar flare in a decade

Source : 112 Ukraine

X-class solar flares can cause radiation storms in Earth's upper atmosphere and trigger radio blackouts
09:45, 7 September 2017

Early morning on September. 6 the sun released two powerful solar flares — the second was the most powerful in more than a decade.

At 9:10 a.m. on September 6, 2017 GMT an X-class solar flare (the most powerful sun-storm category) blasted from a large sunspot on the sun's surface. Space Weather Prediction Center reported.

That flare was the strongest since 2015, at X2.2, but it was dwarfed just 3 hours later, at 12:02 a.m. GMT, by an X9.3 flare, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC). The last X9 flare occurred in 2006 (coming in at X9.0).

Related: The most amazing 2017 total solar eclipse

Solar flares occur when the sun's magnetic field — which creates the dark sunspots on the star's surface — twists up and reconnects, blasting energy outward and superheating the solar surface. X-class solar flares can cause radiation storms in Earth's upper atmosphere and trigger radio blackouts, as happened earlier this morning.

During large solar flares, the sun can also sling a cloud of energetic plasma from its body, an event called a coronal mass ejection (CME).


Related: Lunar eclipse 2017: What "bloody moon" forebodes

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