Twin X-class solar flares erupted from two different enormous sunspots that have appeared on the surface of the sun at the same time. Coronal mass ejections from the X-1 class explosions are expected to reach earth on October 28, possibly causing significant magnetic storms. Auroras are likely to be visible as far south as the northern tier of US states.

Coming at what should be the declining end of the solar maximum, the extremely high level of solar activity presently being observed is unusual, and the presence of two sunspots this large on the solar surface at the same time has rarely, if ever, been recorded before.

The flare in the illustration accompanying this article is large enough to enclose thirty planets the size of the earth in its arch.

Holographic imagery reveals another large sunspot, and possibly two, on the far side of the sun.

Never look directly at the sun. Follow safe observing practices.

Let’s hope we don’t all have to learn some new lessons.

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