An X-Class Flare Unleashed Right At Earth

Illustration for article titled An X-Class Flare Unleashed Right At Earth

The sun fired off an X-class solar flare, the most powerful classification, this afternoon, from an Earth-facing sunspot called Active Region 2158. The flare was powerful enough to cause a sustained blackout of high-frequency radio communication here on Earth.


NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory spied the flare this afternoon, beginning at 1721 and peaking at 1745 UTC (13:21 and 13:45 EDT, respectively).

The flare was accompanied by a coronal mass ejection (CME). NOAA forecasters have issued a geomagnetic storm warning for this Friday, September 12th, when reports the CME is "expected to deliver a glancing but potent blow to Earth's magnetic field":

The storm could reach moderate intensity (G2-class) with auroras visible across northern-tier US states such as Maine, Michigan, and Minnnesota. Another CME could be following close on its heels if today's X-flare also launched a cloud in our direction. It all adds up to a high probability of geomagnetic storms in the days ahead.


We'll see how this storm compares to some of the bigger flareups in recent memory.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter


Cubone Libre

I guess that explains why all the websites were loading so slow today.