Tuesday, August 9, 2011

X6.9 Solar Flare!

The largest solar flare yet this solar cycle occurred this morning, August 9, 2011 at 8:05 UT. 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. Here is a movie of this flare, created with JHelioviewer (http://jhelioviewer.org) that contains images from SDO/AIA in the 171 and 304 Angstrom wavelengths.

Ever wonder what is meant by "X-class" and "M-class"? Released today is a great video on what exactly is meant by these "classes" of flares and some of the potential impacts they can have on the technology here at Earth we are becoming dependent upon. See the movie here: