Sun Releases a Powerful X5 Flare

by Jason Major on March 7, 2012

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AR1429 released an X-class flare on March 7 at 00:28 UT. (NASA/SDO)

Active Region 1429 unleashed an X5.4-class solar flare early this morning at 00:28 UT, as seen in this image by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (AIA 304). The eruption belched out a large coronal mass ejection (CME) into space but it’s not yet known exactly how it will impact Earth — it may just be a glancing blow.

Solar flares are categorized by a scale according to their x-ray brightness. X is the strongest class, followed by M and then C-class. Within each class the numbers 1 through 9 subdivide the flares’ intensity.

A run-in with an X5-class flare is a major geomagnetic event that can cause radio blackouts on Earth and disrupt satellite operations, as well as intensify auroral activity.

The GOES satellite data for the March 7 flare is below:

The CME is expected to impact Earth sometime on the 8th or 9th. Check back here or at for updates on the storm (and any subsequent aurora photos!)

Also, check out the video below, assembled by the SDO team. Just after the X5.4-class flare another smaller X1-class flare occurred, sending a visible wave cross the Sun.

Image courtesy NASA, SDO and the AIA science team. And thanks to Camilla Corona SDO for all the updates!


A graphic designer in Rhode Island, Jason writes about space exploration on his blog Lights In The Dark, Discovery News, and, of course, here on Universe Today. Ad astra!

Tony Power March 7, 2012 at 6:09 AM

anyone have an umbrella I could borrow?

Piers Corbyn March 7, 2012 at 7:13 AM

This flare is X5 flare will have impacts and supports our WeatherAction warnings for 6-7Mar re solar+earth weather + quake possible action in this period

squidgeny March 7, 2012 at 1:15 PM

There’s no link between solar flares and quakes, beyond coincidence.

DrFlimmer March 7, 2012 at 2:28 PM

Indeed, and since earth is shaken many times per day by quakes finding such a coincidence is not that hard… but cause and effect are difficult to grasp sometimes for some folks.

Piers Corbyn March 7, 2012 at 3:15 PM

see my second comment

lcrowell March 7, 2012 at 3:24 PM

Of course if there were a connection between solar flair activity and earthquakes there would be a 22 year periodicity to earthquakes. There is absolutely no statistical evidence for this.


Olaf2 March 7, 2012 at 6:22 PM

Solar flares do not create earth quakes. Adult male Asian elephants do. Especially when the herd aligns with another herd.

Also a big CME weights about a loaded oil tanker top. We could easily cancel an CME earthquake by moving the oil tankers. Or realign the elephants.

Piers Corbyn March 7, 2012 at 3:15 PM

Guys we are not just looking for any ‘coincidences’ but doing trials requiring (eg) M6+ quakes and so far have had success which others are examining which appears to be well beyond chance. Have a look at reports:
There has also been more coverage on Climate Realists

These are trials and results

Squidgeny you don’t know. Maybe you mean you know of nothing showing…

Aerandir90 March 7, 2012 at 3:32 PM

Anyone, and I mean anyone, can put text in a pdf and post it online and claim that its “science”.
Have these results been published in any reputable journal?

magnus.nyborg March 7, 2012 at 3:56 PM

Either way, this is promotion of personal theory, wich is against the posting criteria on this site.


hedin christiansen March 7, 2012 at 11:09 PM

Apparently flares also affect sentence building….hmm im gonna do a study on correlation and claim its the truth…now thats science ;O)

Hassan_Eg March 7, 2012 at 11:31 PM

Guys Thats Right? About End OF The World?

Mass Vocals March 8, 2012 at 12:17 PM

i wonder does show that facts that a hell like place could have existence and we all be sent there ?

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