The Three Biggest Solar Flares Of The Year All Happened In A 24-Hour Period Yesterday

The three biggest solar flares of the year all happened in a 24-hour period yesterday

When the sun fired off a massive flare late on Sunday, it was the strongest solar eruption this year. That was until another, even stronger flare followed it a few hours later. Soon a third flare, almost twice as powerful as the first blasted out of the sun.

“The [third flare] was also associated with a coronal mass ejection, or CME. The CME began at 9:30 p.m. EDT and was not Earth-directed. Experimental NASA research models show that the CME left the sun at approximately 1,400 miles per second, which is particularly fast for a CME. The models suggest that it will catch up to the two CMEs associated with the earlier flares,” NASA said on it’s website.

Solar flares are graded as A, B, C, M or X with each category being ten times more powerful than the one before it. The flares in the past day were all “X” flares, the first ones of 2013.

“‘X-class’ denotes the most intense flares, while the number provides more information about its strength. (NASA/SDO/AIA)