Sunspot AR2673 unleashes the strongest solar flare in more than a decade causing a strong shortwave radio blackout over Europe, Africa and the Atlantic Ocean

Sunspot AR2673 unleashed a major X9.3-class solar flare. That is the strongest solar flare in more than a decade!

X-rays and UV radiation from the blast ionized the top of Earth’s atmosphere, causing a strong shortwave radio blackout over Europe, Africa and the Atlantic Ocean.

MAJOR X-CLASS SOLAR FLARE, strongest solar flare in more than a decade, sunspot AR2673 unleashed a major X9.3-class solar flare, sunspot AR2673 unleashed a major X9.3-class solar flare september 6 2017
The strongest solar flare in more than a decade blacked out Europe, Africa and the Atlantic Ocean. via Spaceweather

The explosion also produced a CME. NOAA analysts are still modeling the trajectory of the CME to determine whether or not it is Earth-directed:

This is a decade-class flare. A list of the most powerful solar flares recorded since 1976 ranks today’s flare at #14, tied with a similar explosion in 1990.

MAJOR X-CLASS SOLAR FLARE, strongest solar flare in more than a decade, sunspot AR2673 unleashed a major X9.3-class solar flare, sunspot AR2673 unleashed a major X9.3-class solar flare september 6 2017
strongest solar flare in more than a decade on sept 6 2017

Compared to the iconic Carrington Event of 1859, or even the more recent Halloween storms of 2003, this event is relatively mild. Modern power grids, telecommunications, and other sun sensitive technologies should weather the storm with little difficulty.

strongest solar flare in more than a decade on sept 6 2017, MAJOR X-CLASS SOLAR FLARE, strongest solar flare in more than a decade, sunspot AR2673 unleashed a major X9.3-class solar flare, sunspot AR2673 unleashed a major X9.3-class solar flare september 6 2017
On Sept. 6th at 1202 UT, sunspot AR2673 unleashed a major X9.3-class solar flare–the strongest solar flare in more than a decade.

This is the second X-class solar flare of the day. It comes just hours after a long-duration X2.2 at 09:33 UTC. The last time our star erupted with an X-class flare was on May 5, 2015 – X2.7.

Sky watchers could see some fantastic auroras before the week is over.

 

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