A massive solar flare saturated X-ray detectors onboard GOES satellites for 11 minutes. The last time such a thing happened was in 2001. That flare was classified as an X22–the biggest ever. This one was even bigger. It was almost certainly the biggest flare ever recorded.
“This solar flare was the largest I have ever seen” said Dr. Ernest Hildner, director of the NOAA/NASA Space Weather Center. “The solar flare that occurred today was so large, we do not have a chart high enough to register it. My best guess would be between a X-25 and an X-30.”
Ionizing radiation from the flare hit Earth’s atmosphere soon after the explosion and caused a severe radio blackout, which radio listeners noticed across North America. The explosion also hurled a coronal mass ejection into space, which could deliver a glancing blow to our planet’s magnetic field on Nov. 5th.
We’ve survived hard times in the past and we’re still here today.
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