Nasa releases stunning clip of X-class solar flare bursting from 'dramatic' Sun as it causes radio blackouts this week
NASA has revealed stunning footage of the strongest type of solar flare that burst from the Sun on May 3.
It's the second time this week that this type of powerful solar flare has been recorded and the US space agency has labelled the Sun's recent activity as "dramatic".
Nasa tweeted a clip of the solar flare in action and wrote: "The Sun emitted a strong solar flare on May 3, 2022, peaking at 9:25 a.m. ET. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured an image of the event, which was classified as X-class."
Flares are ranked by letter, with the biggest labelled as "X-class." The smallest flares are "A-class."
Space experts at SpaceWeather.com also spotted the large flare that ended up causing radio blackouts.
After observing a bursting sunspot, they wrote: "It announced itself today with an X1.1-class solar flare (May 3rd @ 1325 UTUT)."
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"Radiation from the flare ionized the top of Earth's atmosphere, causing a strong shortwave radio blackout over the Atlantic Ocean and Europe."
Sunspots are dark regions that pop up on the Sun due to magnetism inside the burning mass.
They can explode and release solar flares of charged particles that can hit Earth's magnetic field and cause storms that play havoc with our tech on Earth.
Nasa called the Sun's recent behavior "dramatic" in an Instagram post.
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The space agency said: "Our Sun has been a little extra over the last two weeks with five moderate to strong solar flares – sudden releases of magnetic energy.
"Since April 19, three of them were classified as strong. The Sun emits solar flares occasionally, though they don’t always impact humans on Earth.
"If directed toward Earth, strong flares can impact power grids, radio communications, navigational systems, and pose a potential risk to spacecraft and astronauts aboard the @ISS.
"NASA missions study flares to help us prepare for and better mitigate their impact."
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Fortunately, the Earth's magnetic field protects humans from a lot of the negative impacts of solar flares.
Apart from messing with our power grid, satellites and radios, solar storms also produce very pretty auroras like the Northern Lights.
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