Flare: Sun loosens up

2011-08-11 00:00

This image provided by Nasa shows a solar flare early on Tuesday, the largest in five years. The image was captured by Nasa’s Solar Dynamics Observatory in extreme ultraviolet light. Scientists say the bursts of radiation hurled by the solar blast are not in the direction of Earth, so there will be little impact on satellites and communication systems, as happened when the most recent large ‘plasma bullet’ affected electronic equipment on March 8. Two solar tempests in 1989 plunged the Canadian province of Quebec into mid-winter darkness and sparked a deadly explosion on Russia’s trans-Siberian gas pipeline.

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