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Sun produced its largest solar flare in almost two decades

The largest solar flare occurred on the Sun just days after the northern lights in unaccustomed places on Earth, AP News reported.

It also came just days after severe solar storms hit our planet. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), it was the largest flare in this 11-year solar cycle, which was approaching its peak.

However, scientists reassured that this time the Earth should be out of the firing range, as the flare erupted on a part of the Sun rotating away from Earth.

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory detected a bright X-ray flare. Scientists rated it at X8.7 on the X-ray flare scale, the strongest since 2005. Moreover, Bryan Brasher at NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Centre in Boulder, Colorado, stated that it would turn out to be even worse when scientists gathered data from other sources.

The solar flare followed a week of other flares and massive coronal plasma emissions. Recent solar activity threatened to disrupt power and communications on Earth and in orbit. According to Brasher, the emission associated with Tuesday’s flare appeared to be directed away from our planet, although analyses were still ongoing.

NASA stated that a geomagnetic storm over the weekend caused one of its environmental satellites to spin in an unexpected manner due to reduced altitude from the space weather. As a result, the satellite went into protective hibernation known as safe mode.

Seven astronauts on the International Space Station received instructions to stay in areas with strong radiation shielding. According to NASA, the crew faced no danger.


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