Friday, Oct 31st

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You are here: Technology Manufacturing Sun Releases Largest Solar Flare in Years
On Tuesday an extremely large solar flare rocketed from the sun. NASA has classified the flare to be a class X6.9, one of the largest solar flares in over four years.The strongest kind of solar eruption is of the class X. The second strongest is class M, with C denoting the weakest of the three.

Scientists with NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory reported that "this flare had a GOES X-ray magnitude of X6.9, meaning it was more than 3 times larger than the previous largest flare of this solar cycle — the X2.2 that occurred on Feb. 15, 2011.”

A coronal mass ejection, also known as a CME, has been associated with this flare. CMEs are solar phenomena that send solar particles into space and can affect satellites as well as electronic devices on Earth. This CME was not earth-bound, so no effects are to be expected.

"Because of its position, the CME is going to shoot out into space and not be Earth-directed, and we don’t expect any big geomagnetic storm with this," says Joe Kunches, a space scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, "We did luck out. If this would have happened a week ago, who knows?" 
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