Post by Walking Owl on May 6, 2015 12:59:29 GMT -5
Sun emits huge solar flare, burst of plasma
The sun produced its biggest solar flare so far this year, a huge blast that caused temporary radio blackouts throughout the Pacific.
The X-class solar flare - considered the most powerful category of sun storm - erupted Tuesday from a sunspot called Active Region 2339 (AR2339), peaking at 6:11 p.m. EDT (2211 GMT), according to Space.com.
The blast, however, is unlikely to cause major problems back on Earth.
"Given the impulsive nature of this event, as well as the source location on the eastern limb of the sun, we are not expecting a radiation storm at Earth," scientists with the U.S. Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) in Boulder, Colorado, which is overseen by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, wrote Tuesday evening.
While Earth dodged a bullet this time, scientists warned more sun-storm activity could be on its way.
"We are expecting several active regions to be rotating onto the visible disk later this week and into the weekend they wrote in the update. "We have observed a few energetic CMEs on the back side of the sun with these regions, so we expect that overall solar activity will be on the rise in the short to medium term."
But it wasn't only solar flares that mesmerized astronomers in recent days. They also got the chance to see a monstrous burst of plasma erupt from the sun.