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Goddard Space Flight Center

Sun-Earth Day 2010: Magnetic Storms.

Sun-Earth Day 2010: Magnetic Storms

IMAGE GALLERY

Active region 10486 became the largest sunspot seen by SOHO, It unleashed a spectacular show on 28 October 2003. An X 17.2 flare, the second largest flare observed by SOHO and the third largest ever recorded, blasted off a strong high energy proton event and a fast-moving Coronal Mass Ejection. The spot occupied an area equal to about 15 Earths, a size not seen since 1989. It later fired off the largest X-ray flare recorded, on 4 November 2003.
SOHO MDI Sunspot size winner

Active region 10486 became the largest sunspot seen by SOHO, It unleashed a spectacular show on 28 October 2003. An X 17.2 flare, the second largest flare observed by SOHO and the third largest ever recorded, blasted off a strong high energy proton event and a fast-moving Coronal Mass Ejection. The spot occupied an area equal to about 15 Earths, a size not seen since 1989. It later fired off the largest X-ray flare recorded, on 4 November 2003.

NASA Fact

The most powerful solar flare in the last 500 years occurred on September 2, 1859 and was sighted by two astronomers who happened to be looking at the sun at exactly the right time!