Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A sunspot the size of 5 Earths unleashed a spectacular solar flare this week

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A NASA satellite tasked with keeping an eye on the sun captured the moment a solar flare burst from the star on Sunday.

The “mid-level” flare — seen by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory — erupted from a sunspot five times the size of the Earth. The sunspot is moving out of view of the Earth now due to the sun's rotation.

Solar flares are huge eruptions of radiation that burst forth from the star when the sun’s magnetic fields break and release energy.

The April 17 flare was classified as an M6.7-class flare which are “a tenth the size of the most intense flares, the X-class flares,” NASA said Read more...

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