Sunspot Region 720 Emitted Strongest Solar Radiation Since October 1989

"It does look like the sun has been more active in the last 50 years than it has been for a long time. One estimate is that there has not been this long  a time period of high activity in something like 8,000 years."

- David Hathaway, Ph.D., NASA

Left: Giant sunspot 720 erupted for seventh time on Jan. 20, 2005, unleashing a powerful X 7-class solar flare. The blast hurled a coronal mass ejection (CME) into space and sparked the strongest radiation storm since October 1989. Jack Newton of Arizona photographed the sunspot rotating toward the sun's limb and other side on Jan. 19th. Right: Bright auroras spread across northern Europe on January 21st soon after 720's coronal mass ejection crashed into Earth's magnetic field. The result was a spectacular aurora display over Europe. Jim Henderson photographed the vivid red and yellow light near Aberdeen, Scotland.
Above: Giant sunspot 720 erupted for seventh time on Jan. 20, 2005, unleashing a powerful X 7-class solar flare. The blast hurled a coronal mass ejection (CME) into space and sparked the strongest radiation storm since October 1989. Jack Newton of Arizona photographed the sunspot rotating toward the sun's limb and other side on Jan. 19th. Below: Bright auroras spread across northern Europe on January 21st soon after 720's coronal mass ejection crashed into Earth's magnetic field. The result was a spectacular aurora display over Europe. Jim Henderson photographed the vivid red and yellow light near Aberdeen, Scotland. 


February 11, 2005  Huntsville, Alabama - On Saturday, January 15, the Sun erupted with three strong solar flares. The next day, the Sun erupted again. The Space Weather office at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Boulder, Colorado, released warnings about intense radiation storms that could damage satellites and interrupt radio communications. By Monday, January 17th, the Sun erupted yet again with a strong solar flare and some of the brightest auroras in years were being photographed over the northern latitudes. The next day there was yet another strong solar flare, totaling six major eruptions in four days.'

 

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