Sun Unleashes Most Powerful Solar Flare In Five Years

On Friday, the sun hurled its most powerful solar flare since 2017 along with a coronal mass ejection (CME) in the direction of Earth.

According to NASA, the X2.2-class flare was emitted from the surface of the sun late Friday from sunspot region 3229. This is the most powerful flare so far of solar cycle 25, which is expected to increase in intensity over the next couple of years before reaching a peak and beginning to decline again.

An X-class flare is the most powerful category of flare, but Friday’s blast is on the relatively low end of the X scale.

“Radiation from the flare ionized the top of Earth’s atmosphere, causing a deep shortwave radio blackout over the Americas,” wrote former NASA astronomer Dr. Tony Phillips for

The flare lasted over an hour, which is considered a long-duration flare.