Huge Solar Flare Erupts on Sun

Huge explosion has potential to disrupt communication across Earth
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 7, 2012 8:28 AM CST
An image released by NASA on March 5, 2012 is a view of a X1 solar flare in a new active region on the sun, region 1429. It has let loose two M-class flares and one X-class so far.   (AP Photo/NASA)

(Newser) – The sun blasted out a massive solar flare last night, one that could have the potential to cause blackouts and other problems here on Earth, the Washington Post reports. The flare was an X5-class, the strongest category of flare, and, according to NOAA, "one of the largest solar flares of the current solar cycle." It let out a bright coronal mass ejection, but it's unclear yet if that wave is headed our direction. "Our best guess is, 'probably yes, but not directly toward Earth,'" writes. (Read more solar flare stories.)

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