NASA captures images of strong solar flares

Coronal Mass Ejections | NOAA / NWS Space Weather Prediction Center

Coronal Mass Ejections | NOAA / NWS Space Weather Prediction Center

Reports say that the explosion on the sun caused by the solar flares is so strong that it can tear apart the sun.

The NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center issued a geomagnetic storm warning for September 13 and 14.

However Steenburgh told Space.com that, although the increased solar activity seen over the past week was surprising, it was by no means rare.

The solar flare has the capacity to disturb radio communication system and cause Radio black out. Caused by the sudden release of magnetic energy, in just a few seconds flares can accelerate solar particles to very high velocities, nearly to the speed of light, and heat solar material to tens of millions of degrees.

As the researchers explained, actually capturing the birth of such a solar flare was a rather hard process as a tyical X-class flare can burst and reach its peak in as little as five minutes, meaning astronomers need to act fast to ensure they catch the crucial opening moments of the flares evolution. The X class stands for most intense flares and the number describes its strength.

Solar ejections are often associated with flares and sometimes occur shortly after the flare explosion. Bookended by much smaller X2.2 and X1.39 flares, the largest was a huge X9.3 eruption, followed by another X8.2 on September 10. "To observe the rise phases of three X-classes over two days is just unheard of". M-class is a 10th of the intensity of X-class. If the radium levels of the rays go high, it can also be risky for astronauts of worldwide space station and airline passengers.

"This flare is the capstone on a series of flares, which was identified on August 29 and is now rotating off the front of the sun as part of our star's normal rotation", NASA SDO stated in a blog post. It has happened after 11 years as the period of the solar cycle which began in December 2008 and is now moving towards solar minimum by decreasing its intensity.

A group of researchers from the Queen's University Belfast and Sheffield University has captured the largest solar flare in around 12 years in the La Palma with the help of the Swedish Solar Telescope.

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