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).
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).