Sun has biggest solar flare of the year
The bright spot near the center of the photo is a solar flare that NASA observed on Sunday.
February 15th, 2011
12:14 PM ET

Sun has biggest solar flare of the year

If you live at a high northern or southern latitude, watch for some spectacular lights in the sky Tuesday night.

The sun unleashed its strongest solar flare of the year Sunday, and the cloud of radiation it spewed will hit Earth's magnetic field Tuesday, NASA said.

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded a brief but intense flash signaling the ejection of a cloud of ultraviolet radiation.

The source of the flare, sunspot 1158, is growing rapidly, the observatory reported.

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Filed under: Science • Space
soundoff (291 Responses)
  1. April Harris

    Hummm, The sun is spitting fire at us. I wonder why?

    March 2, 2011 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Dave Herron

    But but but... NASA said this was a quiet year for flares when they debunked the 2012 propros. Lawlz... Oh well. d if you do and d if you don't. I know one thing – ill be doing then what I'm doing now. Come what may.

    January 20, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave Herron

      Q: Is there a danger from giant solar storms predicted for 2012?
      A: Solar activity has a regular cycle, with peaks approximately every 11 years. Near these activity peaks, solar flares can cause some interruption of satellite communications, although engineers are learning how to build electronics that are protected against most solar storms. But there is no special risk associated with 2012. The next solar maximum will occur in the 2012-2014 time frame and is predicted to be an average solar cycle, no different than previous cycles throughout history.

      January 20, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave Herron

      Lawlz again. I know. Lol. That's why I posted it. Biggest of the year. No bigger than any other in history. 🙂

      January 20, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
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