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Space Science

Sun Produces First Cycle 24 X-Class Solar Flare 131

radioweather writes "For the first time since solar cycle 24 began, the sun produced a massive X-class solar flare, the strongest type of flare event. This comes from sunspot group 1158, which produced an M-class solar flare on Sunday. The EVE X-ray imager on the solar dynamics observatory shows a bright explosion on the sun, so bright it made a lens flare. The last X-class solar flare was on December 13th, 2006 and was part of solar cycle 23. Look for spectacular auroras in a couple days as the slower Coronal Mass Ejection hits earth. This will be a test of how well our newest technology handles stray energy from such solar disruptions."
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Sun Produces First Cycle 24 X-Class Solar Flare

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  • Re:start worrying? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ceriel Nosforit ( 682174 ) on Tuesday February 15, 2011 @07:00AM (#35207922)

    No, you don't need to worry about it. You just happen to know about it. If you did need to worry about it there was nothing you could do about it.

  • Re:start worrying? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Tuesday February 15, 2011 @09:14AM (#35208510) Journal
    There are outcomes between "sun comes up, sun goes down" and "Sun gives the Van Allen belt a good hard shove and everybody eats ionized death"...

    Solar behavior capable of knocking out a bunch of satellites, or affecting the power grid, is worrisome; but can be mitigated(or at least expected and then repaired) for various levels of nuisance and expense.

    If, for example, next week is going to be a especially terrible time to go into the wilderness with nothing but your trusty GPS and satellite phone, you can't do anything about what the sun is going to do to that infrastructure; but you can avoid relying on it...

Life in the state of nature is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. - Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan