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| Space on Feb 25, 2014

X-flare! Most intense flare of 2014 so far

The sun unleashed the most intense category of solar flare – a X-flare – on February 25 at 0057 UTC.

Spaceweather.com is reporting that returning sunspot AR1990 (previously AR1967) unleashed a powerful X5-class solar flare on February 25, 2014. The flare happened at 0050 UTC on February 25, 2014 (6:50 p.m. CST on February 24).

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) captured these images of the first moments of the solar flare in different wavelengths of light.

Image credit: NASA/SDO

These SDO images from 7:25 p.m. EST on Feb. 24 show the first moments of this X-class flare in different wavelengths of light — seen as the bright spot that appears on the left limb of the sun. Hot solar material can be seen hovering above the active region in the sun’s atmosphere, the corona.View larger. | Image credit: NASA/SDO

The site of the flare is near the southeastern limb of the sun as seen from Earth. The flare was not released in Earth’s direction, and strong geomagnetic storms are not expected. According to Spaceweather.com:

This is the most intense flare of 2014 so far, and one of the most intense of the current solar cycle.

The sun released a powerful X-flare on February 25 at 0050 UTC.  Look to the left side of sun, near the sun's limb, for the flare.  Image via NASA SDO

The sun released a powerful X-flare on February 25 at 0050 UTC. Look to the left side of sun, near the sun’s limb, for the flare. Image via NASA SDO

X-flare of February 24-25, 2014.  NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the extreme ultraviolet flash.  Image via Spaceweather.com

X-flare of February 24-25, 2014. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the extreme ultraviolet flash. Image via Spaceweather.com

This is the third time this sunspot region has rotated on the sun’s surface into the view from Earth.

Bottom line: The sun unleashed the most intense category of solar flare – a X-flare – on February 25 at 0057 UTC.