Valentine’s Day Solar Flare [detail]

NASA image captured Feb. 14, 2011

 

Looks like the new solar cycle is beginning to ramp up. The sun emitted its first X-class flare in more than four years on February 14 at 8:56 p.m. EST.

 

X-class flares are the most powerful of all solar events that can trigger radio blackouts and long-lasting radiation storms.

 

This particular flare comes on the heels of a few M-class and several C-class flares over the past few days. It also has a CME associated with it that is traveling about 900 Km/second and is expected to reach Earth’s orbit on Feb. 16 at about 10 p.m. EST

 

Credit: NASA/SDO

 

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission.

 

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Uploaded on February 16, 2011