The sun fired off a major solar flare late Monday (Feb. 24), making it the most powerful sun eruption of the year so far and one of the strongest in recent years.The flare wasn't aimed at Earth, but the story notes that if it had been, it would have caused a severe geomagnetic storm. The report adds, though:
The massive X4.9-class solar flare erupted from an active sunspot, called AR1990, at 7:49 p.m. EST (0049 Feb. 25 GMT). NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured high-definition video of the monster solar flare. The spaceecraft recording amazing views the solar flare erupting with a giant burst of plasma, called a coronal mass ejection, or CME.
Earth isn't totally out of the woods yet, however. This region of the sun is set to rotate more fully into view of Earth over the next week, according to officials with the NOAA-led Space Weather Prediction Center.