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Sun Unleashes Powerful Flare

October 10, 2013 by  

Sun Unleashes Powerful Flare, An M2.8 class flare erupts from Sunspot AR1865 at 9:48 p.m. EDT on Tuesday in this still image taken from a video by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory.
The strongest solar flare in nearly two months erupted from the sun Tuesday, causing a minor geomagnetic storm as charged particles from the sun passed by the planet.

The sun unleashed the moderate M2.8-class solar flare at 9:48 p.m. EDT. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) recorded a video of the October solar flare’s dramatic genesis.

M-class solar flares are generally considered to be midrange solar storms, but Tuesday’s eruption was still the strongest in months due to the sun’s oddly quiet activity. X-class flares are the most powerful type of solar storm, with C-class flares classified as solar tempests at a step below M-class events.

Yesterday’s solar flare was not aimed directly at Earth, but it did cause a minor geomagnetic storm. The storm has since subsided, but another wave of geomagnetic activity could follow, according to forecasters at the Space Weather Prediction Center, a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

“The G1 (Misnor) Geomagnetic Storm of the early hours on October 9 has weakened, and now forecasters await another shock in the next few hours,” officials at the Space Weather Prediction Center wrote in an update yesterday.

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