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Posts tagged solar flares

Solar Flare Ionizes European Skies

Obviously frustrated by the headline-grabbing news of a quasi-potential Higgs boson discovery, the sun exploded with a headline-grabber of its own this morning.

At 10:52 UT, active region 1515 (AR1515) unleashed a M5.6-class solar flare bathing the Earth’s atmosphere with X-ray and extreme ultraviolet radiation. At that energy, the flare wasn’t that far from becoming an X-class flare — the most powerful variety of solar eruption.

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Monster Sunspot’s Flare Strong Enough to Confuse Satellites

The flare triggered a radiation storm intense enough to also cause radio blackouts. ‘

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Image: Sunspot AR 1476 compared to the size of Jupiter.
SDO/NASA (via Twitter @Camilla_SDO)

Monster Sunspot To Unleash Powerful Solar Flares

The huge sunspot complex measures more than 60,000 miles across — big enough for amateur astronomers with decent equipment to spot from their backyards, weather permitting.

Monday evening’s eruption from AR 1471 apparently generated an Earth-directed CME, which should hit Earth sometime Wednesday morning (May 9) Eastern time, researchers said.

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Is That The ‘Death Star’ Suckling on the Sun?

What was that planet-sized ‘Death Star’-like structure seen floating near the surface of the sun on Monday? Although sightings of supposed UFOs in space images are nothing new, this particular orb appears to be refueling with solar plasma — there’s even a hose extending from the sun’s surface!

As you may have guessed, that’s no moon… but it’s no space station either. Obligatory “Star Wars” clip:

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Huge Magnetic Storm Could Wreak Havoc

A massive solar flare is unleashing a tremendous storm that could disrupt satellites and power grids.

Yesterday’s solar flares erupted from the giant active sunspot AR1429, which spewed an earlier X1.1-class flare on Sunday (March 4). The CME from that outburst mostly missed Earth, passing by last night at around 11 p.m. EST (0400 GMT March 7), according to the Space Weather Prediction Center, which is jointly managed by NOAA and the National Weather Service.

This means that the planet is already experiencing heightened geomagnetic and radiation effects in advance of the next oncoming CME.

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photo: NASA