Sun unleashes strong solar flares - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Sun unleashes strong solar flares

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NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of the X1.2 class solar flare on May 14, 2013.(NASA/SDO) NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of the X1.2 class solar flare on May 14, 2013.(NASA/SDO)
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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

The sun has unleashed four potent solar flares over the past few days, according to NASA.

One of the flares on Sunday was the strongest solar eruption this year and created a solar radiation storm on Wednesday.

The flare erupted on the side of the sun that was not facing earth but it did cause a strong radio blackout.  The flare was categorized as an R3 on the NOAA's space weather scales from R1 to R5.

Experimental NASA research models show that the latest flare left the sun at around 745 miles per second.

NASA says radiation from the latest flare may stream toward two of its spacecraft, including the Spitzer Space Telescope. Engineers have the option to switch them in safe mode to protect instruments.

The side of the sun where Sunday's eruption occurred will rotate into Earth's view soon, allowing scientists to study the active region.

Experts say that a rise in solar activity is common right now because of the phase it is in currently in its 11-year activity cycle.  More strong solar flares could be coming in the days ahead.

The flares can temporarily disrupt GPS signals and communications satellites, but most people will not notice any impacts from the flares.

 

With the AP

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