Watch: Sun emits strongest solar flare in years

Nasa has released video of the strongest solar flare emitted by the Sun for several years.

On Thursday, the space agency’s Solar Dynamics Observatory caught the X2.8 burst on its camera that constantly monitors the Sun. This is the largest since September 2017 when a X8.2 flare was recorded.

Nasa’s classification of X is reserved for the most intense flares while the number reflects more information about its strength.

Thursday’s flare temporarily disrupted radio communication on Earth for a couple of hours, with multiple pilots reporting communication problems.

Solar flares are powerful bursts of energy known to impact electric power grids, navigation signals, radio communications and can pose risks to spacecraft and astronauts.

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric and Administration’s weather centre called it “likely one of the largest solar radio events ever recorded” and issued a geomagnetic storm watch meaning some may see the northern lights in the days after.

In 2003 the strongest ever flare was recorded at an estimated X28, according to the European Space Agency.

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