The strongest flare of the Sun’s current solar cycle was detected earlier today, classified as X2.2, and peaked at 03:57 UTC from sunspot region 2992. These powerful bursts of energy can affect radio communications, power grids, navigation signals and shapes. a risk to both spacecraft and astronauts. Fortunately, this flare was not aimed at Earth, as the X-class flares are the most intense.
Today’s X2.2 flare is the strongest solar flare of the current solar cycle to date. It peaked at 03:57 UTC and came out of sunspot region 2992 rounding out the western rim. The eruption was quite impulsive and the resulting CME is not aimed at Earth. pic.twitter.com/Aq38bXuFnA
— SpaceWeatherLive (@_SpaceWeather_) Apr 20, 2022
This latest eruption was followed by a coronal mass ejection, or in other words, charged plasma that moves more slowly and can produce incredible auroras when it collides with Earth’s magnetic field. Since this CME was on the side of the sun from Earth’s perspective, those particles were not aimed at us. For those interested, this was the largest solar flare seen in years.
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NASA is constantly observing the sun and our space environment with a fleet of spacecraft that study everything from the sun’s activity to the solar atmosphere to the particles and magnetic fields in space around Earth,” the agency said.