The Sun is producing its biggest volcano in nearly two decades, but Earth must be safe

Cape Canaveral, Fla. (AP) – The sun produced its largest volcano on Tuesday, just days after intense solar storms battered Earth.

“It's not over yet!” The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced.

According to NOAA, the largest flare of this 11-year solar cycle is nearing its peak. The good news is that Earth must be out of the line of fire at this time, because the spark erupted in a part of the Sun that is away from Earth.

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured the brightest light from the X-ray flare, the strongest since 2005, with a rating of X8.7 for these flares.

Brian Presser of NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colorado, said it could be even stronger after scientists gather data from other sources.

The event comes nearly a week after flare-ups and massive coronal plasma discharges that threatened to disrupt power supplies and communications on Earth and in orbit. An exhaust associated with Tuesday's flare appeared to be far from our planet, though analysis is still being done, Presser noted.

A geomagnetic storm over the weekend caused one of the orbiting satellites to unexpectedly spin up and enter a protective hibernation, known as safe mode, due to a drop in altitude caused by space weather, NASA said. Additionally, aboard the International Space Station, all seven astronauts were instructed to stay in areas of high radiation protection. According to NASA, the crew was never in danger.

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The Associated Press receives support from the Health and Science Department of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Science and Education Media Group. AP is solely responsible for all content.

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This story was translated from English by an AP editor with the help of an artificial intelligence tool.

Misty Tate

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