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The sun emitted two X-class solar flares Friday, with the second one being twice as strong as the first.
There has been strong solar activity recently; three solar flares emitted from the sun over Thursday and Friday, NASA reports. The third was the most powerful and is classified as an X2-class.
X-class is the classification for the strongest solar flares, with the classification going from an X1 to X3. These intense flares are strong enough to affect satellite and radio communications temporarily, but any harmful radiation cannot penetrate the Earth's atmosphere.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the sun has been active lately as it's hitting its 11-year solar maximum cycle. Scientists predicted that this cycle would end on a much weaker note than previous cycles.
Bill Murtagh, from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said, "This is a little bit of a change this week. We're seeing a quite active sun."
He continued, "Three different sunspot clusters ... We were just down in the operations center looking at this. We can see this complex little magnetic structure on the sun that's going to produce these kinds of flares."
The International Business Times reports that the NOAA recorded a radio blackout caused by the solar flare. "A spot group just on the visible disk, dubbed Region 1882, generated an impulsive RS (Strong) Radio Blackout," stated the administration.
Solar flare from September: