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Sun produces largest solar flare in years: earth not in danger

Scientists have said that the Sun yesterday emitted the largest solar flare in more than four years. Thankfully the report adds that it is unlikely to cause serious problems for the Earth.

Joe Kunches, a scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Space Weather Prediction Center said “It was a big flare, We lucked out because the site of the eruption at the sun was not facing the Earth, so we will probably feel no ill effects.”

The Solar flare was classified as a X6.9 on the three class scale that scientists use to measure the phenomena. The strongest type is class X, M is the medium class and C the lowest class.

An image of the solar flare in the ultraviolet range of the light spectrum. Taken by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory

The flare recorded yesterday is the largest yet in the Sun’s current cycle, which should last until 2020.

X Class solar eruptions can be dangerous, but they pose a threat normally when in direct line with the Earth. Solar flares strongly influence the local space weather in the vicinity of the Earth. They can produce streams of highly energetic particles in the solar wind, known as a solar proton event, or “coronal mass ejection” (CME). These particles can impact the Earth’s magnetosphere, and present radiation hazards to spacecraft, astronauts and cosmonauts.

Thankfully the solar flare yesterday was not aimed at the Earth. Experts claim that if this flare had happened a week ago however that the story could be very different. You can read more over here.

Kitguru says: These present an ever constant danger.

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