Published: Tue, September 12, 2017
Science | By Cecil Little

Monster Solar Flare Marks 7th Powerful Sun Storm in 7 Days

Monster Solar Flare Marks 7th Powerful Sun Storm in 7 Days

Caused by the sudden release of magnetic energy, in just a few seconds flares can accelerate solar particles to very high velocities, nearly to the speed of light, and heat solar material to tens of millions of degrees. The collected information from the solar flare can be channeled in to a number of billions of pounds of the weather industry of the space to well protecting satellites from the sun's dangers.

A huge, so-called X-class flare (the highest level of intensity) was sacked off Wednesday.

Solar storms blast radiation in all directions from the sun, some of which hits the outer atmosphere of Earth, causing it to heat up and expand. It released an amount of energy comparable to that of a billion hydrogen bombs and sent radiation and plasma soaring toward Earth that's not harmful to life thanks to our planet's atmosphere and magnetic field. An X2 is twice as intense as an X1, an X3 is three times as intense, etc. The flare was definitely more powerful than the famous solar flare on March 6, 1989, which was related to the disruption of power grids in Canada.

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NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center predicted that X8.2 would impact HF radio with wide area blackouts and impacts on low-frequency communication degraded for an hour.

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), a satellite that has continuously studied the Sun since 2010, captured images of both flares, which appear as bright flashes of light coming from the solar surface.

Currently, the Sun is supposed to be entering the quietest phase of its 11-year cycle, but that hasn't stopped it from blasting forth some of the largest solar flares on record.

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A coronal mass ejection, or cloud of powerful plasma from the Sun's corona, and carried by the solar wind, was later detected by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, a joint NASA-European Space Agency (ESA) spacecraft that studies the Sun's internal structure. But we passed that point in the current cycle in 2014 and are now approaching the solar minimum.

The two eruptions occurred in an active region of the sun where an eruption of average intensity occurred on September 4.

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