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The sun unleashed its first super-powerful flare of the year on Wednesday, and the intense eruption was aimed directly at Earth, space weather experts say.
The monster X-class solar flare, the strongest category of sun storms, originated from a sunspot known as Active Region 12297 and peaked at 12:22 p.m. ET. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured stunning video of the X2.2-class outburst as it erupted.
Powerful Solar Storm Rips into Earth's Magnetic Field
MAR 17, 2015
The most powerful solar storm of the current solar cycle is currently reverberating around the globe.
...Our planet has a global magnetic field called the magnetosphere, so should a CME hit the magnetosphere at just the right alignment, the CME’s magnetic field can reconnect, causing intense magnetic disruption, injecting the magnetosphere with huge quantities of plasma from the sun. In this situation, the CME is said to be “geoeffective” and the resulting geomagnetic storm can be extreme.
Today’s storm is so intense that it far overshadows anything that has come before it in our sun’s current solar cycle. ....
...The storm is still ongoing and space weather experts will be closely watching developments. Storms such as these can have global impacts — from overloading powergrids and causing communication outages to satellite damage. [ed. AND HEALTH!]