Sun fires off 3 huge flares, including strongest in a decade

Delia Watkins
September 8, 2017

The current solar cycle began in December 2008 and is now decreasing in its intensity and leading towards minimum activity yet sunspots may continue to flare up in the coming days.

The Space Weather Prediction Center said the sun emitted two high-intensity solar flares, the second one the most intense since 2005, London's Daily Mail reported on Thursday.

Solar storms can make satellites and power grids on Earth go a little wonky.

These jets of radiation, which can disrupt the operation of communication satellites and the Global Positioning System as well as the electricity distribution networks reaching earth's upper atmosphere, were detected and recorded by the satellite "Solar Dynamics Observatory" of the u.s. space Agency to 3: 10 and 6: 02 p.m.

Attention, earthlings - especially those of you in the Midwest: We are under a "strong magnetic storm watch" through Saturday, thanks to the sun's release of the most powerful solar flare recorded since 2008.

According to a report from Space.com, solar flares are created as the sun's magnetic field curls and reconnects to itself. And as the sun rotates, magnetic loops become wrapped, becoming tighter and tighter as they twist.

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Solar particles that make it to atmosphere can have a dramatic effect on neutral molecules, causing them to glow.

The second flare was massive. Of the two, the latter was the strongest solar flare we've observed from the Sun since one that occurred December 5, 2006. There are three categories: C, M, and X.

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 solar flare activity was many times the size of the Earth. The last time an X9 struck the Earth was almost 10 years ago, causing widespread radio blackouts.

Many members of the scientific community are stating that a geomagnetic storm will hit Earth on September 8th.

CMS and solar flares are different phenomena but often occur at the same time when it comes to the strongest solar flares.

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