Sun Unleashes Powerful Solar Flares, Disrupting Radio Communications

Powerful Flares Disrupt Communication Systems

The sun is at it again, unleashing a series of solar flares including one that caused brief disruptions in communication systems.

NASA said its space-based Solar Dynamics Observatory observed an X-class solar flare that peaked at 1:01 a.m. EDT on Oct. 19. Another X-class flare came at 10:28 a.m. EDT today, Oct. 22, according to the National Weather Service's Space Weather Prediction Center.

The second flare disrupted some radar and aircraft systems as well as amateur radio, Christopher Balch, a forecaster at the Space Weather Prediction Center, told the Associated Press.

Solar flares are bursts of radiation emitted by the sun. They're rated B, C, M, and X according to intensity, and X-class flares are the most powerful kind.

Flares aren't harmful to humans on Earth but can cause disturbances in the atmosphere, where GPS and communications signals travel.

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