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Sun fires off its most powerful solar flare of the year

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NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of an X3.3-class solar flare that peaked at 5:12 p.m. EST on Tuesday. This image shows light blended from the 131 and 193 wavelengths.

The sun fired off its strongest solar flare of the year Tuesday, though the massive sun storm should not post a major concern for Earth, space weather experts say.

The powerful X3.3 solar flare peaked at 5:12 p.m. EST on Tuesday from the sunspot AR1890. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Orbiter captured high-definition video of the X-class solar flare as it erupted from the sun.

The material ejected from the solar flare will probably not create issues on Earth, space weather officials said.

“No geomagnetic disturbance is expected from this event,” National Weather Service Space Weather Prediction Center officials wrote in an update Wednesday. “However, Region 1890 remains potent and well-positioned, so keep tabs of activity here.”

X-class solar flares are considered the most powerful kinds of solar storms, and when aimed directly at Earth, they can pose a danger to satellites and astronauts in orbit. The sun is currently in the peak of its 11-year Solar Cycle 24 and unleashed several smaller X-class solar flares in late October.

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