X-Class Solar Flares Due Today, Friday 13th

Posted By on June 13, 2014

The sun has had three major “X-Class” solar flares on its surface in the past two days that have affected communications on Earth and could send a shockwave through Earth this Friday (the 13th), according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

ABC reports, the “solar events” caused brief blackouts in high frequency communications when they struck, twice on Tuesday morning and once this Thursday morning.

By Definition: Solar flares are classified as A, B, C, M or X according to the peak flux (in watts per square metre, W/m2) of 100 to 800 picometre X-rays near Earth, as measured on the GOES spacecraft.

Classification

Peak Flux Range at 100-800 picometre

(Watts/square metre)

A < 10−7

B 10−7 – 10−6

C 10−6 – 10−5

M 10−5 – 10−4

X 10−4 – 10−3

Z  > 10−3 Extremely rare! Extreme event thought to have happened in 1859

Within a class there is a linear scale from 1 to 9.n (apart from X), so an X2 flare is twice as powerful as an X1 flare, and is four times more powerful than an M5 flare. X class flares up to at least X28 have been recorded.

Sources: Wikipedia, Wise Dog Research

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