Biggest Solar Flare since 2017!
On May 29, 2020, there was a solar flare on the Sun that was the biggest seen since September 6, 2017. This series of flares reached the “M” level, which is a fairly strong flare. The plot below shows X-ray strengths from the Sun as observed by the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) satellite. X-rays are measured in two wavelengths by this satellite and the spikes in X-ray flux levels show flare occurrences. Flare strengths are measured on a log scale and rated as A, B, C, M, and X strengths. Each level is 10 times higher than the level below it. An X flare for example is 10,000 times stronger than an A flare. Flares happen when the legs of magnetic loops sticking out of the suns surface come together and “short out” the loop, releasing the tremendous amount of energy stored in the loop. Perhaps the Sun is finally moving into the next sunspot cycle?
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