The Sun has fired another powerful X-class solar flare, this time from a newly emerging sunspot as it turns toward Earth. This solar outburst marks the third X-class flare in less than a week.
NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory records massive solar flare Tuesday (Jan. 10) at 5:47 p.m. EST (2247 GMT). The explosion threw a pile of debris into space and ionizing radiation from the flare earthRadio blackout is starting in the South Pacific, due to the upper atmosphere of spaceweather.com (opens in new tab),
Solar flares are classified into lettered groups according to size, with the X-class being the most powerful. Within each class, a number from 1 to 10 (and beyond, for X-class flares) indicates the relative strength of a flare. A relatively weak example of the most powerful class was seen in the recent flare on X1.09.
Connected: Huge solar flare erupts from ‘hyperactive’ sunspot on the Sun
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Sun Now Three Powerful X-Class Flares, Just a Few Days Apart, and All Different sunspot, This is increased solar activity as the Sun comes out of its dormancy solar cycle 25, which scientists predict will peak in 2025.
Solar flares arise when magnetic energy builds up in the solar atmosphere and is released in an intense burst of electromagnetic radiation. More powerful M- and X-class flares can cause widespread radio blackouts from small to large on the edge of Earth facing the Sun at the time of the explosion.
This happened when a recent X1.09-class solar flare sent a strong pulse of X-rays and extreme ultraviolet radiation towards Earth. Traveling at the speed of light, the radiation reached Earth in just eight minutes and ionized its uppermost layer. Earth’s atmosphere – Thermosphere – triggering a shortwave radio blackout across the entire South Pacific.
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coronal mass ejection, or CMEs – large releases of plasma and magnetic fields from the sun – can also be triggered by strong M-class and X-class flares. CME eruptions can disrupt Earth’s magnetosphere and result in geomagnetic storms that can push the aurora closer to the equator during calm conditions.
So far, no CMEs have been observed emerging from the region responsible for the powerful X-flare, which came from a sunspot called AR3186.
According to Spaceweather.com, even more solar activity may soon be on the horizon as a pair of large active regions — currently hiding behind the Sun’s eastern limb — will be visible later this week.
To find out if there’s a solar flare today and keep up with the latest space weather Conclusion, visit the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Space Weather Prediction Center (opens in new tab) To view the latest solar X-ray data from the agency’s GOES Weather satellites Eastern and Western US
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