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As the sun approaches the 2013 solar maximum, researchers say solar activity is just beginning, large solar flares are erupting on a regular basis with ever increasing strength. Recently, the Sun ejected an X-class flare on Friday.
NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory spotted the summer’s first ‘X’ solar flare on Friday – a huge outburst from the sun right at the top of the scale.
This came on the back of 12 ‘M’ flares in just six days, with a M6.1 flare knocking out radio signals across the planet on Thursday – hinting at the destruction the sun could reign on our technology if Earth takes a full blast across its blow.
The sunspot group behind the flares – named as AR1515 – stretches across 118,681 miles (191,000km) of the sun’s surface.
This makes it’s width more than 15 Earths set end to end, said NASA solar astrophysicist C. Alex Young.
The biggest flares are known as ‘X-class flares’ based on a classification system that divides solar flares according to their strength.
The smallest ones are A-class, which are similar to normal background levels, followed by B, C, M and X.
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