SCIENCE
10/22/2014 03:30 pm ET Updated Oct 22, 2014

Sun Unleashes Powerful Solar Flares, Disrupting Radio Communications

The sun is at it again, unleashing a series of solar flares including one that caused brief disruptions in communication systems.

NASA said its space-based Solar Dynamics Observatory observed an X-class solar flare that peaked at 1:01 a.m. EDT on Oct. 19. Another X-class flare came at 10:28 a.m. EDT today, Oct. 22, according to the National Weather Service's Space Weather Prediction Center.

The second flare disrupted some radar and aircraft systems as well as amateur radio, Christopher Balch, a forecaster at the Space Weather Prediction Center, told the Associated Press.

Solar flares are bursts of radiation emitted by the sun. They're rated B, C, M, and X according to intensity, and X-class flares are the most powerful kind.

Flares aren't harmful to humans on Earth but can cause disturbances in the atmosphere, where GPS and communications signals travel.

HuffPost

BEFORE YOU GO

PHOTO GALLERY
The Many Faces Of The Sun
CONVERSATIONS