View Full Version : Discussion: The Largest Flare Ever Seen

2003-Nov-05, 05:49 PM
SUMMARY: A massive flare erupted on the surface of the Sun yesterday that was so bright that it temporarily blinded the instruments on solar observation satellites. Astronomers believe this was the brightest flare that has ever been seen in modern times. Fortunately, this flare, and the following coronal mass ejection fired off to the side of the Sun, so very little material is expected to reach the Earth. The most powerful flares are the X-class; the most powerful flare ever seen before now was an X-20, but this could be an X-30, or even higher.

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2003-Nov-05, 08:43 PM
Asking from a point of limited knowledge, anyone have a good theory as to what would likely have happened if an X-30 flare were directed right at Earth?

2003-Nov-05, 08:59 PM
It all depends on the orientation of the ejection's magnetic field. If it's aligned with the Earth's field, then nothing would happen. If it's the exact opposite of the Earth's field, then there could be a serious disruption to satellites and communication systems. Back in 1859 there was a solar storm so severe that electricity was arcing across telegraph wires and caused fires.

2003-Nov-06, 05:46 AM
Is an X-30 visible to the naked eye?