Sun unleashes its anger in massive solar flare
The Sun has unleashed anger in its strongest flare in over four years, observers say is it a warning looking toward 2012.
The eruption is a so-called X-flare, the strongest type; such flares can affect the weather and earths communications.
NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) spacecraft recorded an intense flash of extreme ultraviolet radiation emanating from a sunspot.
The British Geological Survey (BGS) has issued a geomagnetic storm warning, and says observers might be able to see aurorae from the northern England
The monster flare was recorded at 0156 GMT on 15 February and directed straight at the Earth.
Preliminary data from the Stereo-B and Soho spacecraft suggest that the explosion produced a fast but not particularly bright coronal mass ejection (CME) - a burst of charged particles released into space.
The unpredictable eruptions on the Sun can interfere with modern technology on Earth, such as electrical power grids, communications systems and satellites.
On Wednesday, the BGS released a rarely seen archive of geomagnetic records that provide an insight into "space weather" stretching back to the Victorian era.
BGS scientists say that studies of solar storms in the past could inform the prediction of future space weather and help mitigate threats to national infrastructure.
Displays of the Northern Lights (aurora borealis) have already been seen further south than usual in Northern Ireland and elsewhere. And further solar activity is expected over the next few days.
Researchers say the Sun has been awakening after a period of several years of low activity. Could we see another 1976 coming soon? Or could we see the 2012 predictions of the worlds end? Some English scientists have said that the American big bomb test on the moon could have shifted the moons trajectory, as like the butterfly effect with a small stone on a big pound makes ripples.