MOSCOW, February 9. /TASS/. The Sun blasted an X-class flare on Friday, the most powerful explosion in the solar system, the helio-geophysical department of Russia’s Fedorov Institute of Applied Geophysics reported.
"On February 9 at about 4:14 p.m. Moscow time (1:14 p.m. GMT), a 38-minute-long solar flare classified as X3.3 was recorded in X-rays in sunspot group 3576 (S14E10), and was accompanied by disrupted short-wave communication," the statement said.
Currently, according to the five-level space weather scale, the effect of solar X-ray flares on the Earth’s ionosphere is classified as an R3 event (strong), with an R5 event being extreme.
Solar flares are divided into five classes according to their X-ray strength: the smallest ones are A-class, followed by B, C, M and X. A0.0 class is equal to the radiation energy found in the Earth’s orbit, 10 nanowatts per square meter. Each letter stands for a 10-fold increase in energy output. As a rule, the flares, known as giant explosions on the sun, send solar plasma into space, and the clouds of these charged particles can bring about geomagnetic storms when reaching the Earth.