Sun Wakes Up, Spews X-Flare Toward Earth

The sun’s first X-flare of the year – packed with an electromagnetic pulse effect capable of damaging electrical grids and unguarded electronics – erupted Wednesday in the direction of Earth, and its full impact is yet to be felt. The flare, observed by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory satellite, contains the energy of millions of hydrogen bombs exploding all at once. The sun is at its solar storm maximum, but solar flare activity on its surface has been unusually quiet.

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