A sunspot located behind the eastern limb of the sun erupted on May 13, 2013 at 02:17 UTC (May 12 at 9:17 p.m. CDT), producing an X1.7 solar flare that NASA says is the strongest so far this year. The site of the flare is not turned in Earth’s direction now, so its effects are not headed our way.
As the sun rotates, the blast site will turn our way in a few days, giving space weather forecasters a better view of the active region and letting them gauge the potential for additional powerful flares from the sun in the days ahead.
Bottom line: The sun emitted a powerful X1.7 solar flare on May 13 at 2:17 UTC. The effects of the flare are not headed in Earth’s direction.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.