Solar Flare

Sun Unleashes Massive Solar Flares

The X-class solar flare, the most powerful type of sun storm, erupted at 6:12 p.m. EDT (2212 GMT) on Tuesday September 6. The flare occurred less than 24 hours after another less intense but still dramatic solar storm. Several different satellites watched the action unfold, including NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, which constantly records high-definition videos of the sun in several different wavelengths. At 9:35 PM ET on September 5, 2011, the sun emitted an Earth-directed M5.3 class flare as measured  by the  GOES satellite. The flare erupted from a region of the sun that appears close to dead center from Earth’s perspective, an active region designated number 1283. 

The flare caused a  slight  increase  of solar energetic  protons some 26,000 miles above Earth’s surface. A coronal mass ejection, another solar phenomenon that can send solar particles into space, was associated with this flare. The CME is a relatively slow one, traveling at under 200 miles per second.