Sun sends out sixth solar glare in less than week

A solar flare erupts from the surface of the sun on Sept. 6 2017 in this multiple wavelength composite image provided by NASA

A solar flare erupts from the surface of the sun on Sept. 6 2017 in this multiple wavelength composite image provided by NASA

"The first flare erupted on 6 Sep 2017 from active region 2673 and measured in at X 2.2".

Experts say that the string of bursts on the Sun is a natural outcome of the changes, which has happened in the solar corona over the last three days.

According to NASA, the solar flare received the X-Class category, which is where the most powerful sun-storms are recorded.

Solar flares occur when the sun's magnetic field - which creates the dark sunspots on the star's surface - twists up and reconnects, blasting energy outward and superheating the solar surface.

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Nasa captured two high-intensity solar flares emitted from the Sun on Wednesday. The last X9 flare occurred in 2006 (coming in at X9.0). X category flares carry enormous amounts of radiation which have an impact on planet Earth. "However, we have to wait until we get some coronagraph imagery that would capture that event for a definitive answer".

Gases from the flares are expected to reach the Earth between 3 p.m. and midnight on September 8, possibly impacting the global positioning system and shortwave communications used to contact aircraft, according to the NICT. Flares give off radiation that cannot pass through Earth's atmosphere, but can affect radio and Global Positioning System signals, which is why some might have noticed a radio station go silent this week. "This is the sixth sizable flare from the same active region since September 4", the space agency said.

If aimed toward Earth, such an ejection could lead to even more spectacular auroras, but could also damage satellites, communications and power systems. CMEs release huge clouds of plasma - charged particles from inside the sun - that take up to three days to reach Earth. The intensive solar activity at its "11-cycle minimum" may lead to the wide-scale disruption of communications and electronics around the whole Earth.

If you haven't gotten rid of, or donated your solar eclipse glasses, you'll want to hang onto them for more than just the next eclipse. In fact, the recent X-class flares have killed both high and low-frequency communication on Earth for an entire hour.

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