January 30, 2012
NASA Captures Another Massive Solar Flare On January 27: Video
[ Watch the Video ]
The sun unleashed an X1.8 class flare that began at 1:12 PM ET on January 27, 2012 and peaked at 1:37. The flare immediately caused a strong radio blackout at low-latitudes, which was rated an R3 on NOAA's scale from R1-5. The blackout soon subsided to a minor R1 storm. Models from NASA's Goddard Space Weather Center predict that the CME is traveling at over 1500 miles per second. It does not initially appear to be Earth-directed, but Earth may get a glancing blow.
What is a solar flare? What is a coronal mass ejection?
For answers to these and other space weather questions, please visit the Spaceweather Frequently Asked Questions page.