NASA's Sun Watching Observatory Sees Two Powerful Solar Flares

Two X-class solar flares as seen by the SDO.                  NASA  Goddard  SDO

Two X-class solar flares as seen by the SDO. NASA Goddard SDO

The size of the second flare is somewhat usual, according to Smithsonian.com, since the sun is now at solar minimum, or the period of lowest activity during its 11-year cycle.

"Flash has already given the deterioration in the quality of connections in Europe and America", - said the expert.

Extreme solar flares are also risky, especially for satellites in space close to the Earth, as the plasma jolts can damage then, and even mess with the electrical grid here. On Sept. 6, 2017, morning, when blasted energy super-heated the solar surface because of twists up and reconnects in sun's magnetic field, blue planet received two solar flares. But although we're moving into solar minimum, the quietest period of the cycle, activity can still occur. A few minutes into the open space goes up to a trillion megatons of TNT. That watch remains in effect through Saturday. Sun also has a magnetic field like the Earth. And as the sun rotates, magnetic loops become wrapped, becoming tighter and tighter as they twist.

The most recent X9 flare took place in 2006, at X9.0. When the particles of a CME blow past our atmosphere, they can cause further problems that can include satellite and power grid disruptions. However, they could also cause significant damage to orbiting satellites and power systems on the planet.

While a CME did erupt in the wake of these two solar flares, NASA is still trying to analyze whether or not Earth is in its path.

The flares knocked out high-frequency radios, causing a "wide area of blackouts (and) loss of contact for up to an hour over (the) sunlit side of the Earth", the SWPC said. "But we await SOHO/LASCO coronagraph imagery for confirmation". The biggest solar flare of all time was a humungous X28 back in 2003, which luckily was at an oblique angle to Earth, so we managed to avoid the full brunt.

The most most powerful X-class flare was an incredible X28 (which is the limit of the measuring devices) on November 4, 2003.

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