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View Count: 118 |  Publish Date: February 27, 2014
NASA captures footage of enormous solar flare

An X-class solar flare erupted on the left side of the sun on February 24, 2014.(Credit:NASA/SDO)
While solar flares are a common occurrence on the sun, its not everyday that we get an X-class flare.
However, sun watchers were given a treat this week when the star let off a huge solar flare, according to NASAs Solar Dynamics Observatory. The flare peaked around 5 p.m. PT on Monday and NASA published a video (see below) of the event on Tuesday.
Solar flares are bursts of radiation propelled off the sun. This latest flare was classified as X4.9, which means it was an incredibly significant burst of light and one of the largest of the solar cycle.
Related storiesDazzling aurora borealis could reach the lower 48 this weekStunning auroras sparked by solar flareThe view from up there: An astronauts Aurora Borealis (video)Videos show giant solar flares, ensuing aurora borealis X-class denotes the most intense flares, while the number provides more information about its strength, NASA wrote in a blog post. An X2 is twice as intense as an X1, an X3 is three times as intense, etc.
Typically, flares dont affect Earth, but when they do, they often create beautiful aurora borealis, or northern lights -- like those seen last month. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), this weeks flare was well off the Sun-Earth line and probably wont affect our planet.
However, its possible that minor geomagnetic or solar radiation storms will cause some northern lights on Thursday. Additionally, NOAA writes, this region will continue to rotate into a better position to affect Earth over the next week or so.

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Time: 6:43  |  News Code: 386170  |  Site: CNET
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