Image Credit: NASA/GSFC/SDO


Our sun, that great fireball in the sky, is the giver of light to all the Earth. However, at times, we can feel very disconnected from our nearest star, not so much because of its physical distance (which is some 93 million miles/ 150 million km), but because we take it for granted. From Earth, we just see a bright ball of light that travels throughout the sky, much the same, day after day. The problem is that we don't really see what is going on, and so we forget about the immense power the Sun. But every now and then, it flares up to remind us that we need to take notice.


Case in point, on January 7 at 18:09 UTC (Jan 8 5:10 am Melbourne, Australia), the sun let off a giant burst of energy! We had our first x-class solar flare for 2014, which registered a maximum flux of X 1.3 at 18:32 UTC.


For much of the Earth, we are still going to be detached from this solar tsunami. However, in the northern and southern latitudes, aurorae are likely to become livelier (as it takes a few days to travel such an enormous distance)


With two large solar flares ringing in the new year, it seems that solar cycle 24 still has more to offer.

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