It’s been a busy few days on the surface of the sun. A handful of coronal mass ejections (CMEs) last week sparked concerns of power grid and communications disruptions. And then this morning at 3:48 a.m. EDT, our local star fired off an X6.9 solar flare more powerful than any seen in years.
Captured above and below by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory and measured by the NOAA GOES satellite, this morning’s solar outburst was definitely the strongest of the current sun cycle. It measured X6.9, a full three times stronger than the previous frontrunner of this cycle, an X2.2 measured back in February.Lucky for us down here here on Earth, this flare wasn’t facing us and therefore isn’t expected to affect the planet in any serious way, though the potential is there (NASA warned that it could cause some radio communications blackouts, but likely nothing worse).