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Sun Fires Up: X-Class Solar Flare Directed To Earth

A sunspot named AR2297 has just unleashed a strong Earth-directed X-class solar flare.

Spaceweather.com reports:

Extreme UV radiation from the blast, which measured X2 on the Richter Scale of Flares, is causing HF radio fade-outs and other propagation effects on the dayside of Earth, primarily over the Americas.

WHY DO SOLAR FLARES EXPLODE?: On March 12th, NASA will launch a fleet of spacecraft to investigate the mystery of magnetic reconnection: On the sun, magnetic field lines cross, cancel, reconnect and—Bang! A solar flare explodes. How does the simple act of crisscrossing magnetic fields trigger such a ferocious blast? The Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission aims to find out. Get the full story from Science@NASA.

ACTIVE SUNSPOT TURNS TOWARD EARTH: Sunspot AR2297 is crackling with solar flares, and it poses a growing threat for Earth-directed eruptions as it turns toward our planet this week.