NASA has recorded a period of unusual and powerful activity from the Sun since the start of September with one solar flare the strongest on record in a decade
NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) observed a X9.3 flare from the Sun on September 6. X-class flares are the strongest and the last on record of this magnitude was a X9.0 emission in December 2006. A series of smaller emissions preceded the September 6 flare which was followed by a X8.2 flare on September 10.
“This flare is the capstone on a series of flares from Active Region 2673, which was identified on Aug. 29 and is currently rotating off the front of the sun as part of our star’s normal rotation,” NASA SDO stated in a blog post noting that this level of activity was rare at this stage of the 11-year solar cycle.
The NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center issued a geomagnetic storm warning for September 13 and 14. The storm can impact satellites, navigation and communications systems but will also mean that the aurora will be more vivid for skywatchers. Credit: NASA via Storyful