The sun unleashed the third major solar flare in three days, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory scientists said. The massive solar storm occurred late Sunday at 10:03 p.m. EDT (0203 Oct. 28 GMT). It registered as an X-class solar flare — the most powerful type of flare the sun has — and followed two back-to-back X-flares that erupted from the sun on Friday (Oct. 25). NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured a video of the new X-class solar flare shown below. This image oshows a blend of light in wavelengths of 193 and 131 Angstroms. The flare, an X2.1, appears as the bright flash on the left.
NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory is just one of a fleet of spacecraft monitoring the sun's current weather cycle, which is known as Solar Cycle 24 and began in 2008. Scientists tracking the cycle's activity, however, have said that despite several major flare events, this solar maximum period is the weakest of the last 100 years.
Image Credit: NASA/SDO and Goddard Space Flight Center and