“The [third flare] was also associated with a coronal mass ejection, or CME. The CME began at 9:30 p.m. EDT and was not Earth-directed. Experimental NASA research models show that the CME left the sun at approximately 1,400 miles per second, which is particularly fast for a CME. The models suggest that it will catch up to the two CMEs associated with the earlier flares,” NASA said on it’s website.
Solar flares are graded as A, B, C, M or X with each category being ten times more powerful than the one before it. The flares in the past day were all “X” flares, the first ones of 2013.
“‘X-class’ denotes the most intense flares, while the number provides more information about its strength. (NASA/SDO/AIA)
Watch three years of solar activity in four minutes: NASA releases mesmerizing new video of the sun It’s the job of NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory to keep an eye on the sun, a job the SDO has presented in a new video showing off three years’ worth of solar activity. “In the three years since it first provided images of the sun in the spring of 2010, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory has had virtually unbroken coverage of the sun’s rise toward solar maximum, the peak of solar activity in its regular 11-year cycle,” NASA said in a release.
Keeping an eye on the Sun — This NASA image obtained April 10, 2013 and taken by the Solar Dynamics Observatory’s Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) instrument at 171 Angstrom shows the current conditions of the quiet corona and upper transition region of the Sun on April 9, 2013. (NASA/AFP/Getty Images)
Biggest solar storm since 2005 pummels Earth A potent solar flare has unleashed the biggest radiation storm since 2005 and could disrupt some satellite communications in the polar regions, US space weather monitors said Monday.
The event started late Sunday with a moderate-sized solar flare that erupted right near the center of the Sun, said Doug Biesecker, a physicist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Space Weather Prediction Center.
“The flare itself was nothing spectacular, but it sent off a very fast coronal mass ejection traveling four million miles per hour (6.4 million kilometers per hour),” he told AFP.
A rush of radiation in the form of solar protons already has begun bombarding the Earth and is likely to continue through Wednesday. (Photo: AFP PHOTO/NASA/SDO)
Photo of the Day A photo released by NASA Earth Observatory on June 7, 2011 and taken from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), sunspot complex 1226-1227, shows the Sun unleashing an M-2 (medium-sized) solar flare, an S1-class (minor) radiation storm and a coronal mass ejection (CME) resulting in a large cloud of particles mushrooming up and falling back down giving the impression of covering an area of almost half the solar surface. (AFP/Getty Images)