NASA tracks X-class solar flare many times larger than Earth

By Stephen C. Webster
Tuesday, October 23, 2012 13:39 EDT
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An X1 solar flare, recorded by NASA on October 22, 2012.
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The sun burped on Monday, triggering a spectacular eruption many times larger than Earth that NASA cameras were fortunately able to track in exquisite detail.

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory said the flare, recorded just after 11 p.m. EST, was the seventh “X-class” solar flare recorded this year.

It hit a peak of X1, the weakest on the scale, while the strongest flare this cycle hit X6.9 in August of last year.

X-class flares can send massive plumes of radiation toward Earth, which can sometimes cause interference with radio and GPS signals.

NASA said the interference from Monday’s flare was mild and went away after a short time.

This video was published to YouTube by NASA on October 23, 2012.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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