Updated May 15th, 2024 at 13:10 IST

Take a Close Up! Sun Releases Strongest Solar X-Ray Flares in Years | VIDEO

Earlier, two other solar flares, rated X1.7 and X1.2, also erupted, however, did not have any major impact on Earth.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Sharing a video for the same, NASA showed a close up of the solar flare. | Image:NASA
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New Delhi: The Sun on Tuesday released the strongest flare, a storm of energised particles in the current solar system on Tuesday. According to NASA, the solar flare in a X8.7 class, much stronger than the ones earlier.

"The Sun emitted a strong solar flare on May 14, 2024, peaking at 12:51pm ET. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured an image of the event, which was classified as X8.7," NASA said on X.

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Sharing a video for the same, NASA showed a close up of the solar flare.

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"This one deserves a close up! Here’s another, multi-wavelength look at today’s X8.7-class solar flare, the most powerful of this solar cycle," the caption read.

Meanwhile, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Space Weather Prediction Centre, said that the latest flare reached its peak just before 1 pm ET. As per the centre, the solar flare was an R3 or "strong" flare, which meant that it may have also led to wide-area blackouts of high-frequency radio communications for almost an hour on the Earth's sunlit side.  

Earlier, two other solar flares, rated X1.7 and X1.2, also erupted, however, did not have any major impact on Earth.

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What is X-Class Solar Flares?

A solar flare occurs when the powerful magnetic fields in and around the sun reconnect. The flares are further classified according to their strength. The smallest ones are categorised as B-class, followed by C, M and X, the largest.

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The X-class are "giant explosions on the sun that send energy, light and high speed particles into space."

Similar to Richter scale in case of earthquake, with each letter representing a ten-fold increase in energy output. This means, an X is 10 times an M and 100 times a C. Within each letter class, there is a finer scale from 1 to 9. C-class flares which are too weak to noticeably affect the Earth.

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NASA further said that on the ground, the main dangers people can face are indirect, through impacts to technology. The strong solar storms can cause power blackouts, disrupt GPS and other satellite signals, and interfere with long-distance radio communications. 

"Even if you’re already on a polar flight when a flare occurs, the radiation exposure is similar to what you might get during an X-ray at a doctor’s office," it added. 

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Published May 15th, 2024 at 13:10 IST