Powerful X-class solar flare occurs, 2nd most powerful outbreak in last 5 years

January 10, 2023  17:02

On Monday at 10:50pm Armenia time, a powerful solar flare occurred which was awarded the X1.9 class. This is the second strongest outbreak in the last five years; the first one took place in September 2017.

The first X-class solar flare this year took place on January 6, at 4:57am Armenia time, but it was slightly weaker than the previous one; it was assigned class X1.2.

It turns out that it took only three days for the Sun to accumulate energy for a new and stronger explosion. Both flares originated from the same spot on the Sun, Space.com reports.

solar-flare-1.png (725 KB)

US space agency NASA also published a new photo of the flare taken by the Solar Dynamics Observatory.

The intensity of X-rays from solar flares is denoted by the Latin letters A, B, C, M, and X. The weakest flares, classified as A, B or C, are usually too weak to have any effect on Earth. But stronger M-class flares can throw charged particles at Earth that overload our planet's auroras, amplifying the lighting of the northern and southern auroras.

However, X-class solar flares aimed directly at Earth can affect radio communications, power grids, navigation signals, and pose a threat to spacecraft and astronauts.

The latest X-class solar flare, reported on Monday, caused temporary radio blackouts in parts of South America, Central America, and the Pacific. 

  • Archive