An active region on the surface of the sun has been putting on quite the show for NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory.
On Sunday, the region erupted with an X2-class flare. X-class flares are the most intense category of solar flare; an X2 is two times as intense as an X1 flare.
NASA says this marks the sixth substantial flare since Oct. 19, when the sun erupted with an X1.1-class flare.
The active region of the sun, the area where these flares are erupting, is “the largest active region seen on the sun in 24 years,” NASA claims.
The area, dubbed AR 2192, is comparable in size to Jupiter, which has a diameter of nearly 87,000 miles.
Luckily, thanks to Earth’s atmosphere, the sun’s radiation-packed flares can’t harm us here on Earth. But they can, and do, affect communications here on Earth. NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center monitors space weather, and the site shows these recent solar flares have caused a whole host of radio blackouts.
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