SCIENCE

NASA Says This X-Class Solar Flare Is The Best-Observed Sun Eruption Of All Time (VIDEO)

05/09/2014 08:06 am ET | Updated May 09, 2014

This stupendous solar flare is one for the record books.

The X-class flare erupted from the sun's surface on March 29, 2014, and NASA scientists say it's the best-observed flare of all time. Just watch the NASA Goddard YouTube video above for all the details.

X-class flares are the strongest kind. This one was observed by four separate NASA space telescopes and one ground-based observatory. Each telescope captured a different aspect of the flare, producing images that will help researchers better understand what triggers flares and how they can cause radio blackouts on Earth.

xclass solar flareThe March 29, 2014, X-class flare appears as a bright light on the sun, showing light in the 304 Angstrom wavelength.

"This is the most comprehensive data set ever collected by NASA's Heliophysics Systems Observatory," Jonathan Cirtain, a project scientist at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., said in a written statement. "Some of the spacecraft observe the whole sun all the time, but three of the observatories had coordinated in advance to focus on a specific active region of the sun. We need at least a day to program in observation time and the target -- so it was extremely fortunate that we caught this X-class flare."

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