The sun fired off a seriously large flare on Monday at 7.49pm, making it the most powerful sun eruption of 2014 and one of the strongest in the last several years!
The immense X4.9-class solar flare exploded from an active sunspot, called AR1990. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured a high definition video of the giant solar flare. The spacecraft recording showed fascinating views and sights of the solar flare erupting with a humongous blast of plasma, named a coronal mass ejection, or CME.
But do not worry we are not in a troublesome situation from the latest eruption, stated by the officials at spaceweather.com. Sunspot AR1990 is situated on the south eastern stem of the sun, pointed away from Earth. This is the third time this sunspot has pirouetted onto the Earth-facing side of the sun.
Astronomer, Tony Phillips, wrote in a spaceweather.com alert “Sunspot AR1990 returned to the Earthside of the sun on Feb 25th and promptly erupted, producing an X4.9-class solar flare. This is the strongest flare of the year so far and one of the strongest of the current solar cycle.”
This scope of the sun is set to rotate completely into sight of Earth over the next week according to the Space Weather Prediction Centre.
X-Class solar flares are the most powerful types of solar storms. If Monday night’s solar flare was pointed at Earth, it could have created a severe geomagnetic storm, formed when charged particles crash into the planet’s magnetic field. When directed at Earth, strong, forceful solar flares can sabotage satellites and astronauts in orbit around Earth.
The sun is now in the active stage of its 11 year solar cycle. Although X-Class storms are the utmost powerful mid-level flares are named M-Class events, which can supercharge Earth’s northern lights. Weaker C-class events round out the top three most powerful kinds of solar storms.