A massive class X solar flare was detected coming from the sun just hours before the Lunar New Year, and it could be the strongest since 2017.
POT reported which struck at 8:14 a.m. EST on February 9 and was detected by the space agency’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, which constantly observes the sun as it orbits Earth.
SDO captured the image above of the spectacular event, showing a bright flash of ultraviolet light at the bottom right.
Although it has been officially classified as an X3.3 flare, which is not as intense as the actually much more powerful than it initially seemed.
“Measuring a class X3.38, today’s flare is approximately 32% smaller than the NYE X5 event. So how can it be the greatest? saying Dr. Ryan Frenchsolar physicist at the National Solar Observatory in Boulder, Colorado and author of The Sun: Beginner’s Guide to Our Local Starin x. “Well, a significant proportion (>32%?) of the emission is hidden behind the edge of the Sun.”
What could be the strongest solar flare since 2017 had almost instantaneous effects on Earth. Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation that travel at the speed of light and take just eight minutes to reach Earth. “X-class” solar flares, in particular, can affect the Earth’s magnetic field and potentially damage satellites, communications equipment and power grids. They can also be a threat to astronauts.
Just a few hours after the class X solar flare, EspacioWeather.com reported an intensifying “radiation storm,” which was confirmed as a minor event by NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center. It also reported that the X-class flare triggered a coronal mass ejection on the Sun (an expected event): a cloud of magnetic fields and plasma that can cause auroras on Earth.
Today’s solar flare came from sunspot AR3575 just as that part of the sun was rotating away from Earth. “The CME is being analyzed, but it is predicted to be just ahead of Earth and is not likely to be aimed at Earth.” saying the SWPC. NASA confirmed that this CME is not headed to Earth, but to Mercury, Venus and Mars. It will arrive this weekend.
Currently, the sun is near solar maximum, the peak of its magnetic activity in its 11-year solar cycle. Its status is only judged in retrospect, with historical numbers of sunspots (dark areas appearing on its surface) being most numerous during solar maximum.
Wishing you clear skies and wide eyes.