Sun Ejects X-Class Solar Flare: Will More Follow?

Posted by on March 6, 2012

On Sunday, March 4 at 11:13 p.m. EST, the Sun ejected an X1.1-class solar flare, the strongest class of flare. While it won’t directly hit Earth, it’ll likely cause geomagnetic storms, and scientists predict this may be a sign of things to come.

The flare shot out from a sunspot known as AR1429, which is “five times larger than Earth.”

“Powerful X-class flares create radiation storms that produce auroras and can give airline passengers flying over the poles small radiation doses.”

Wikipedia, Solar Flare Classification

This X-class flare was sent off into space, but we may not be so lucky in the future. As the Sun rotates, this active sunspot region will eventually line up with Earth. An eruption at that point would be potentially dangerous.

We still have about a year before the Sun reaches the solar maximum of its current cycle, during which activity will increase, as will the potential for greater and more numerous flares directed toward Earth.

Read more: The Ends Of The World: Solar Flares

We can only hope to avoid such a scenario, although scientists have stated there is little possibility that solar flares will ever wipe out life on Earth.

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About the Author Post by Rob Schwarz

Rob Schwarz is a writer, blogger, and part-time peddler of mysterious tales. He manages Stranger Dimensions in between changing aquarium filters and reading bad novels about mermaids.