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Giant Solar Flare Emitted By Sun, Earth Braces For Blackouts

The flare originated from sunspot AR3664, which has been active for days, producing multiple X-class flares, including the largest of this solar cycle. Skywatchers worldwide enjoyed stunning auroras last week, capturing mesmerizing photos of the colorful phenomenon.
12:23 PM May 15, 2024 IST | Aniket Raj
giant solar flare emitted by sun  earth braces for blackouts
Solar Flare

On Tuesday, the Sun emitted its most powerful solar flare of the current solar cycle, rated as an X8.7 event. This flare, stronger than the one experienced last week, is heading towards Earth. According to NOAA data, the flare originated from a sunspot located at the Sun's visible edge. The impact of the storm on Earth, particularly in the United States, is anticipated to cause radio blackouts.

According to NOAA, the recent solar flare is not expected to cause geomagnetic storms or aurora activity.

AR3664, a sunspot, has been active with solar flares for several days. On May 10, it produced an X5.8-class flare. Then, on Tuesday, it unleashed three X-class flares, measuring at X1.7, X1.3, and X8.7, with the latter being the most significant flare of the ongoing 11-year solar cycle that commenced in December 2019.

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NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center provided an update on May 14, stating, "Region 3664 produced yet ANOTHER X-ray flare as it moves beyond the Western solar limb!! This time, it was an X8.7 flare, the largest of this solar cycle!"

Skywatchers around the world were treated to a spectacular celestial display last week as stunning auroras adorned the skies with vibrant shades of pink, green, and purple. From northern Europe to Australia's Tasmania, enthusiasts captured breathtaking photos of this rare phenomenon.

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