2 Massive Solar Flares Witnessed In 24 Hours
Our sun has fired off the 2 strongest solar flares of the year so far, with the 2 massive eruptions occurring within 24 hours of each other. The first, an X1.7 class flare, erupted on Sunday 12th May and was followed up on Monday 13th May at around Midday E.D.T.
These 2 large flares come just as the sun is starts moving towards the peak of its 11 year solar cycle. This phase of the solar cycle means we should see increased activity, with multiple flares per day not uncommon.
While falling some way short of the strongest flare in the cycle (an X6.9 class flare in August 2009), the 2 flares are significant nonetheless. This significance comes with the fact that the two large flares erupted with a coronal mass ejection (CME), which released a high level of electromagnetic radiation and at very high speeds. Thankfully, these events were not directed towards the Earth. Had they have been, our numerous space agencies may have been forced to put their many satellites into a safe mode, to prevent serious damage from the high speed material being blasted at them.
The area in question will come into view from Earth soon, and should a similar event occur while the area is directed at Earth, one of the more awe-inspiring effects will be the potential of increased Northern Light activity. So for all those on the look out for one of Earth's most majestic performances, your time could be coming.