Our closest star has been stressed lately and NASA’s Photo voltaic Dynamics Observatory is right here to doc its whims, moods and outbursts. On Friday, SDO captured views of the solar coughing out a powerful X2.2 photo voltaic flare. X-class flares are probably the most highly effective form.
On Sunday (appropriately sufficient), NASA tweeted a time-lapse video of the solar’s busy week the place it launched 36 notable flares and 28 coronal mass ejections (outbursts of plasma). The X2.2 photo voltaic flare happens at 44 seconds into the video.
The most recent flare eclipses a nifty X1.2 in January. “Photo voltaic flares are highly effective bursts of power,” NASA stated in a press release on Friday. “Flares and photo voltaic eruptions can influence radio communications, electrical energy grids, navigation alerts and pose dangers to spacecraft and astronauts.”
NASA categorizes photo voltaic flares into courses. A-class flares are weak, whereas X-class flares are the strongest. There’s a whole lot of wiggle room inside the X-class. Increased numbers are extra intense, with scientists having measured a whopper of an X28 in 2003. In contrast with that, this month’s X2.2 might sound extra like a hiccup, nevertheless it’s nonetheless a formidable outburst.
We will anticipate extra enjoyable from the solar. It is in an energetic stretch of its photo voltaic cycle, so which means flares, CMEs and scenic auroras on Earth. No matter it will get as much as, SDO will probably be there to doc the journey.
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