NASA Captures the Sun Releasing X-Class Solar Flare

Written by Reananda Hidayat Permono Completed Master of Science - MS, Petroleum Geology from Curtin University, Perth, Australia.

On Friday, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) captured views of the sun releasing a strong X2.2 solar flare toward dark space.

For your information, X-class flares are the strongest ones the sun could deliver.

On Sunday, NASA shared a time-lapse video of the sun’s week where it released 28 coronal mass ejections, 36 notable solar flares, and no geomagnetic storms.

NASA explained that solar eruptions and flares can impact radio communications, navigation signals, and electric power grids.

Those bursts of energy activities also give risks to astronauts and spacecraft. A solar flare is categorized into classes.

X-class flares are the most powerful kind of flare, meanwhile, A-class flares are weak.

There’s a lot of room with the X-class; higher numbers indicate a higher intensity.

Scientists recorded an X28 in 2003, so, this month’s X2.2 might look less threatening.

However, it’s still an impressive outburst and can significantly impact various things on Earth, including radio communications and auroras.

The rare solar flare also triggered a shockwave across the sun’s surface, some scientists call it a “solar tsunami.”

According to NASA, it’s “a giant wave of hot plasma” that can travel up to 901,000 km/h (560,000 mph) and reach heights of 100,000 km (62,150 miles).

We can expect more surprises from the sun and NASA’s SDO will be there to capture the fun.