Massive solar flare bursts from sun

E&E • Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The sun yesterday unleashed its largest solar flare so far this year.

The coronal mass ejection was determined to be an “X-class” flare, or the largest of its type. The solar activity is among an increased number of flares occurring at the peak of the sun’s 11-year activity cycle.

The flare was not directed at Earth, although several spacecraft could be affected.

hen flares of this strength do reach the Earth, the charged matter can blow out transformers in power grids (Greenwire, Oct. 18, 2012; BBC News, May 14)