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)

    @What a coincidence dude... i didnt think about it... maybe the sun got a job at applebee's and was a flare short of the minimum required?

    February 15, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sheri

      You, my friend, are an idiot, just like a lot of others that posted on this site. Those of us that believe such events can and do happen, will be the ones to survive a humungous event like the solar flare predicted for 2011-2012. What makes you and the others think that this won't happen, when our scientist say it will? I don't think that they can predict the exact date and pinpoint it, but they can give us a very good estimate. I will prepare as much as anyone can be prepared and then if the predicted disaster doesn't come about as bad as they say, then so what. Anything I did to prepare for the event, a person should do anyway in case of hurricane survival preparedness. People like you make me sick.

      February 23, 2011 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  2. Bert

    Proof Positive of Global Warming!

    February 15, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • blueprincess

      um what? u seriously think solar flares are due to global warming? The radiation that enters earths atmosphere from earth directed flares increase global warming....but not the opposite.

      February 16, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  3. John

    You all can joke about this as much as you like. The truth of the matter is that just one big solar flare could knock out the electric rid for an infinite period, anywhere in this world. This could cause mass panic as there would be many ways in which our lives could be impacted. Are YOU READY for such an event...YOU SHOULD BE!!!

    February 15, 2011 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • TodSuck

      lol... I WILL BE

      February 15, 2011 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • fel

      You are trying to reason with nitwits that think the Jesus Bunny controls the Sun, let them laugh and joke, do you really want these people around afterward anyway; eff em all, prepare yourself and let natural selection take care of the rest.

      February 15, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • puprplepuppy

      time to stock up on the necessities, beer and wine. No just joking but they do have nutrition. Things like wheat flour, yeast honey, salt, oil and other things. If you live in a house with all electric, may want to learn to bake bread and other cooking skills in an grill or fire pit. An electrical grid failure of any size in the US could likely bring down the entire North American continent. If communications go down, there may be other things, like marshal law, which would likely happen if there was a grid failure also.

      February 15, 2011 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Minos

      "Let natural selection finish them [people of faith] off." It turns out that natural selection, by definition of the billions of religious people walking and breeding on the planet today, favors those within religious society in a statistically dramatic way. People of faith have been scientifically shown (on average) to live longer, happier, and healthier lives and to procreate at an increased rate compared their minority (and apparently less virile and potent) atheist brethren. There are several logical reasons for this (strength in numbers, strong community support, ready access to Sunday morning Church going booty, et cetera). The ironic fact remains that the strongest proponents of a godless natural selection process are the same folks getting the dirty end of nature's stick. Survival and successful propagation of genes are the measure of evolutionary success. On nature's scale, atheists end up being the biggest losers, proving once and for all that God and Mother Nature both share a wonderful sense of humor.

      February 15, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Terry

      I totally agree with you John. I "know" people who are scientists who are very concerned but you will never ever hear it from those in power because there would be such a panic...There was a fireball that flew across 5 northeast states yesterday afternoon. they feel it was an asteriod the size of a car. Now, we find this out after the fact...why? because people would panic

      February 16, 2011 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • blueprincess

      Some can't comprehend what an X-flare really can do. When the blast hits earth's magnetsphere and weakens it, it allows the tectonic plates to move more freely....more earthquakes, volcanos erupting....,Then the radiation leads to more global warming...super storms....not to mention those on airplanes for the next day or two will be exposed to higher radiation levels (about 10 x-rays or so) and then there is always the possibility of another Carrington event like the one in 1859 that disrupted communication and radio signals. ( Imagine the sun facing side of the earth during an event losing communication signals, satellite signals or defense. I'd hate the imagine losing our defenses here in the US for very long. The damage done by this kinda flare could be short term or a toal do over. Imagine electrical grids being burned up.....what oh what would you do people. So yeah, and X-class flare is a big big deal!

      February 16, 2011 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. bailoutsos

    Hey Sun, I want to see your flair. All 39 pieces, likr Todd.

    February 15, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  5. robert gibson

    I guess the Mayans were right and the movie 2012 is looking like reality everyday. I going to Yellowstone next year for a front row view. : )

    February 15, 2011 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • BW96

      lol ROLFCOPTER coming in! jk

      February 15, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • rickgreen

      If the supervolcano erupts, your front row view will not last for long...

      February 15, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Thanks Rick for that astute observation.

      February 15, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  6. rickgreen

    It is reported that soon the sun will enter a solar flare activity the likes we have never seen before, it may knock down electricity grids, satellites, leave us with no communication for possibly months because of the weakened magnetic shield around the earth

    February 15, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • yuk

      or it might not.... in which case, god saved us by preventing it..... MY god of course.... not yours.

      February 15, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
  7. jmor


    February 15, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Philip

    Thun thspot'th are like freckle'th onyer faytheth. But they can burn you more than a carrot thtick can, and aren't athe crithspy unleth you thtay out too long.

    February 15, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Sohel

    Sun has flares in every 11 years and the last one was in 2001. But now it is 2011. Sun is having it a little earlier than 2012. However, it's the beginning and wait for more in coming years.

    February 15, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Philip

    Bethideth, thunthcreen won't thtick to a carrot anywayth, unleth you thcratch the thkin off firthst. Then it thticks purty good motht of the time.

    February 15, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Philip

    What? Angelique thtarted it.

    February 15, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  12. jj

    Just watch the movie "Knowing."

    February 15, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Red State

    i always Knew that Obuma is an antiChrist. He is a sign to America that the world is coming to an end

    February 15, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • thomas

      Only someone bound to ignorance like you could take a scientific article and try to make it political. You are the derpest.

      February 15, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Clete

    It's not news until the flare reaches Uranus.

    February 15, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • zee

      Then it becomes a hemroid Clete. Or perhaps it'san assteroid

      February 15, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Red State

    Obuma is destroying our Solar system.

    February 15, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
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