A major solar flare erupted from the sun on Thursday in the strongest storm yet of our star’s current weather cycle.
The sun fired off an X1-class solar flare, its most powerful kind of flare, which caused a temporary, but strong, radio blackout across the sunlit side of Earth centered on South America.
NASA officials called the solar eruption a “significant solar flare,” adding that it was captured in real-time video by the space agency’s Solar Dynamics Observatory.
A coronal mass ejection from the flare, a huge eruption of charged particles, could reach Earth by Saturday or Sunday.
The eruption could supercharge Earth’s northern lights and potentially interfere with satellite-based communications.
“POW! The sun just served up a powerful flare,” NASA officials wrote on Twitter alongside a photo of the flare.
Solar flares are massive eruptions of radiation from the sun that send charged particles streaming outward from the star.
Flares are classified in a letter system, with C-class storms being relatively week, M-class more moderate and X-class flares as the strongest.