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A massive X-1 solar flare from the sun

A massive X-1 solar flare from the sun

The sun and its activity on October 28, 2021.

Photo: NASA

On Thursday, October 28, 2021, a powerful X-1 degree solar flare erupted from the sun. In recent months, our star has become increasingly active and the X-1 solar flare on October 28, 2021 has become the most powerful explosion in this current solar cycle. Class X explosions are the most powerful of their kind and can destroy radio links and power stations on Earth. For example, a Class X solar flare in March 1989 caused severe damage to a power plant in Canada.

A solar flare is a large explosion in the sun that occurs when energy stored in twisted magnetic fields (usually above sunspots) is suddenly released. Solar flares produce a burst of radiation across the electromagnetic spectrum, from radio waves to X-rays and gamma rays. The energy emitted is equivalent to the explosion of millions of atomic bombs simultaneously! Solar flares occur most often when the Sun is active, around its maximum. It is then possible that several solar flares occur daily. Around the solar minimum, solar flares are rare and can only occur once a week or even less. Strong solar flares are rarer than weaker flares. Some (particularly strong) solar flares are known to emit huge amounts of solar plasma. We call this coronal mass ejection. CMEs are known to cause geomagnetic storms when they reach Earth.

Class X flares are the most powerful flares out there. These powerful solar flares cause radio interference (radio dimming) on ​​the day side of the Earth and can also cause long, powerful proton storms. If the eruption was not impulsive and occurred around the central sunspot region of the solar disk, there is a possibility that a coronal mass ejection could cause a strong geomagnetic storm with the aurora borealis in Holland and Belgium.

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X-1 solar flarePhoto: NASA/GSFC/SDO

An X-1 class solar flare on Thursday, October 28, 2021, erupted from the sun at 17:15 BST and came from the AR2887 sunspot group. Before the Class X-1 eruption, two Class M eruptions were also seen on October 28, 2021. So far, this has been the Class X eruption of the 25th solar cycle. An X-1 class eruption, which was aimed at Earth, would undoubtedly increase the activity of the aurora borealis in the coming days. Want to learn more about the sun’s activity and track it in real time? Then visit our popular sister site