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Solar Flares Explained: What You Need to Know

Mike Wall
Published: May 15, 2013

More Solar Eruptions on the Way

The sun has unleashed two colossal flares since Sunday night, firing off its most powerful eruptions of 2013 in less than a day.

The first flare peaked Sunday, May 12 at 10:17 p.m. EDT, registering as an X1.7-class eruption. The second flare, which occurred at midday on Monday, May 13, was even stronger, clocking in at X2.8, scientists said. And more flares are expected this weekend.

X-class flares are the most powerful type. Here's a brief rundown on solar flares, their classification and their potential impacts on Earth.


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