Two significant solar flares imaged by NASA's SDO

September 6, 2017
This animation shows both the X2.2 and the X9.3 flares that the sun emitted on Sept. 6, 2017. The imagery was captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory and shows light in the 131 angstrom wavelength. Credit: NASA/Goddard/SDO

The sun emitted two significant solar flares on the morning of Sept. 6, 2017. The first peaked at 5:10 a.m. EDT and the second, larger flare, peaked at 8:02 a.m. EDT. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun constantly, captured images of both events. Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth's atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground, however—when intense enough—they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel.

To see how this event may affect Earth, please visit NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center at http://spaceweather.gov, the U.S. government's official source for space weather forecasts, alerts, watches and warnings.

The first flare is classified as an X2.2 flare and the second is an X9.3 flare. X-class denotes the most intense flares, while the number provides more information about its strength. An X2 is twice as intense as an X1, an X3 is three times as intense, etc.

Both flares erupted from an active region labeled AR 2673, which also produced a mid-level solar flare on Sept. 4, 2017. The X9.3 flare was the largest flare so far in the current solar cycle, the approximately 11-year-cycle during which the sun's activity waxes and wanes. The current solar cycle began in December 2008, and is now decreasing in intensity and heading toward solar minimum. This is a phase when such eruptions on the sun are increasingly rare, but history has shown that they can nonetheless be intense. The radio black out from this particular flare is already passed, and http://spaceweather.gov has more details.

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of a significant solar flare -- as seen in the bright flash on the lower right on Sept. 6, 2017. The image shows a subset of extreme ultraviolet light that highlights the extremely hot material in flares and which is typically colorized in red. Credit: NASA/Goddard/SDO

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Scroofinator
not rated yet Sep 06, 2017
Not to sound too tinfoil hatish, but isn't this what was thought to have happened in the Carrington event?
Scroofinator
not rated yet Sep 06, 2017
And btw I don't mean the strength of the flares, but the timing, including the one from a few days ago.
katesisco
not rated yet Sep 06, 2017
I don't think were done yet. I am thinking there is a 'residue' or lasting aura connected to these blasts. Not just the one-two punch.
Cusco
not rated yet Sep 06, 2017
No, the Carrington Event was a CME, a Coronal Mass Ejection, rather than a flare.
cantdrive85
1 / 5 (1) Sep 06, 2017
This doesn't portend well for Irma to weaken prior to landfall.
Scroofinator
5 / 5 (1) Sep 06, 2017
There were CMEs with these events as well

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