Feeds

The Sun ERUCTATES huge ball of GAS at 4 MILLION MPH

Nothing to worry about, however – at least for a week or so

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Pics & video NASA has published 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 agency's orbiting Solar Dynamics Observatory, the mission masters of which, in a blog post aptly titled "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 flare's 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

Don't don your favorite tinfoil hat for protection, however. As NASA explains, harmful radiation from such an event can't pass through the Earth's 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 Service's Space Weather Prediction Center's 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. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency
Experiment aboard ISS shows we should all chill out for cleaner engines
Brit amateur payload set to complete full circle around PLANET EARTH
Ultralight solar radio tracker in glorious 25,000km almost-space odyssey
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.