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One Giant Sunspot, 6 Substantial Flares
October 26, 2014

A giant active region on the sun erupted on Oct. 26, 2014, with its sixth substantial flare since Oct. 19. This flare was classified as an X2-class flare and it peaked at 6:56 a.m. EDT. This is the third X-class flare in 48 hours, erupting from the largest active region seen on the sun in 24 years. 

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To see how this event may affect Earth, please visit NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center at http://spaceweather.gov, the U.S. government's official source for space weather forecasts, alerts, watches and warnings.

X-class denotes the most intense flares, while the number provides more information about its strength. An X2 is twice as intense as an X1, an X3 is three times as intense, etc.

 


Second Update: Oct. 25, 2014, 3:17 p.m. EDT

On Oct. 25, 2014, the sun emitted its fifth substantial flare since Oct.19. This flare was classified as an X1-class flare and it peaked at 1:08 p.m. EDT.

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To see how this event may affect Earth, please visit NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center at http://spaceweather.gov, the U.S. government's official source for space weather forecasts, alerts, watches and warnings.
 


First Update: Oct. 24, 2014, 8:46 p.m. EDT

The sun emitted a significant solar flare, peaking at 5:41 p.m. EDT on Oct. 24, 2014. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun constantly, captured images of the event. Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth's atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground, however -- when intense enough -- they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel.

To see how this event may affect Earth, please visit NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center at http://spaceweather.gov, the U.S. government's official source for space weather forecasts, alerts, watches and warnings.

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This flare is classified as an X3.1-class flare.

X-class denotes the most intense flares, while the number provides more information about its strength. An X2 is twice as intense as an X1, an X3 is three times as intense, etc.

The flare erupted from a particularly large active region -- labeled AR 12192 -- on the sun that is the largest in 24 years. This is the fourth substantial flare from this active region since Oct. 19.

What is a solar flare?

For answers to this and other space weather questions, please visit the Spaceweather Frequently Asked Questions page.

Related Links
 

SDO view of solar flare on Oct. 24, 2014
An X3.1-class flare erupted from the lower half of the sun on Oct. 24, 2014. This image of the flare was captured by NASA's SDO and it shows extreme ultraviolet light at wavelengths of 171 and 304 angstroms.
Image Credit: 
NASA/SDO
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SDO view of solar flare on Oct. 25, 2014
An X-class flare erupted from the sun on Oct. 25, 2014, as seen as a bright flash of light in this image from NASA's SDO. The image shows extreme ultraviolet light in the 131-angstrom wavelength, which highlights the intensely hot material in a flare and which is typically colorized in teal.
Image Credit: 
NASA/SDO
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SDO view of Oct. 26, 2014, X-class flare
The bright light in the lower right of the sun shows an X-class solar flare on Oct. 26, 2014, as captured by NASA's SDO. This was the third X-class flare in 48 hours, which erupted from the largest active region seen on the sun in 24 years.
Image Credit: 
NASA/SDO
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Page Last Updated: October 26th, 2014
Page Editor: Rob Garner