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View Count: 134 |  Publish Date: February 26, 2014
Caught on camera: Sun belches huge solar flare at 4 MILLION MPH

Protecting your virtual environment
Pics & video NASA has released images and a video of a massive solar flare that the sun belched forth at 4.4 million miles per hour, which lasted from 0039 until 0103 UTC on Tuesday morning, and reached its peak at 0049.
Different wavelengths reveal different details of the X-class solar flare (click to enlarge)
The images were captured by the space agencys orbiting Solar Dynamics Observatory, the mission masters of which, in a blog post aptly entitled Whoa, an X4.9 Flare!, revealed it to be a massive coronal mass ejection, indeed – the largest of this year.
By comparison, the most massive such flare of all of 2013 was an X3.3.
X-class flares are the most intense of such solar events, NASA explained in its release of the images and video. The number following the X in the flares designation indicates its relative intensity, with an X2 flare being twice as intense as an X1, and so on.
NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory video of X-class solar flare of February 24, 2014
Dont don your favorite tinfoil hat for protection, however. As NASA explains, harmful radiation from such an event cant pass through the Earths atmosphere to mess with we puny humans on terra firma. It can, however, disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel.
The US National Weather Services Space Weather Prediction Centers analysis will also allay any fears you might have. Although impressive, they write, the source of this event is well off the Sun-Earth line and the coronal mass ejection (CME) associated with this event is not headed directly at Earth.
They do note, however, that the region of the Sun from which the X4.9 CME was ejected is currently rotating to face the Earth, and that it will be aimed more directly at us in a week or so.
Stay tuned for updates, they advise. ®

Time: 2:6  |  News Code: 385128  |  Site: The Register
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