The Sun Shoots Off The Biggest, Most Spectacular Solar Flare Of The Year

Yesterday afternoon, while most of us were wrapping up another day at work, everyone's favourite flaming ball of plasma decided to give NASA's cameras a little show. More specifically, the Solar Dynamics Observatory managed to capture our sun's biggest solar flare of the year thus far.

Classified as an M6.5, it's not the hugest solar flare — that honour belongs to the X-class. But it was at least enough to cause a "moderate" radio blackout that has since subsided.

And if it seems like we've been seeing more solar flares than usual these days, it's because we have. The sun's 11-year activity cycle is approaching its maximum, which should be hit by the end of the year. So if these incredible images are anything to go by, we're in for a few more treats over the next several months. All of which we can safely enjoy thanks to our lovely, protective atmosphere.

[NASA via The Atlantic]

Pictures: NASA

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