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Sun blasts three massive solar flares on May 22 — scientists

The longest flare lasted 44 minutes

MOSCOW, May 22. /TASS/. Scientists detected three powerful explosions on the Sun on May 22, Russia’s Fedorov Institute of Applied Geophysics told TASS.

"On May 22, an M1.2 flare that lasted 31 minutes was recorded in the X-ray spectrum at 5:05 p.m. Moscow time (2:05 p.m. GMT - TASS). An M2.3 flare that went on for 44 minutes was recorded at 7:04 a.m. Moscow time (4:04 a.m. GMT) and there was a 21-minute-long M1.5 flare on the Sun at 06:13 a.m. Moscow time (3:13 a.m. GMT)," the institute said.

In early May, a severe geomagnetic storm hit the Earth after a string of solar flares. On the night of May 11, the solar storm on Earth reached the extreme G5 level which has been registered for the first time since August 2005.

Solar flares are divided into five classes according to their 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.