Largest solar flare of solar cycle explodes from Sun

Large solar flares, including the largest in the current 11-year solar cycle, have been erupting from the Sun this week,  

according to NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC).  

The X8.7 flare, which caused the recent solar weather—including Friday night's breathtaking display of the Northern Lights—blasted out of the Sun's active sunspot zone on Tuesday.  

An X-shaped flare is the strongest kind, and the number indicates how powerful it is  

Although the Sun often creates bursts of energy like these, flares of this size are quite rare.   

Solar flares and their potential effects on Earth life are explained by FOX Weather Meteorologist Amy Freeze.  

Although this X-class flare was not Earth-directed, it is not anticipated to produce severe geomagnetic storming or widespread communication problems  

however, high-frequency radio communications on Earth's sunny side may experience transient deterioration.  

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