back to article Earthly astronomers catch best-ever image of MASSIVE solar flare

A combined effort by four space telescopes and one Earth-bound observatory has successfully snapped the best images yet of a huge solar flare that erupted from the Sun's surface. The solar explosion occurred at 1:48pm EDT (5:48pm GMT) on March 29 and was an X-class flare, the largest type yet recorded by astronomers. The …

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  1. Richard Tobin

    Z Class?

    I've never heard of a Z class flare before, and I can't find any mention of such a thing on the NASA web site. Beyond X9 they just go to X10, instead of (say) Y1.

    Someone recently added "Z class" to the table on the Wikipedia Solar Flare page without any explanation. If, as that table says, it means > 10^-3 W/m^2, then we've already had several: the X17 flare on Sep 7 2005 would be Z1.7, for example.

    Where does the figure of "a least 40 times as large as March's display" in the article come from? The March 29 flare was X1, so 40 times that is not a particularly interesting number. Or did you just misunderstand this statement on the Wikipedia page: "the extreme event in 1859 is theorised to have been well over X40 so a Z class designation is possible"?

    1. asdf
      Trollface

      Re: Z Class?

      >Beyond X9 they just go to X10, instead of (say) Y1.

      Marty DiBergi: Why don't you just make ten louder and make ten be the top number and make that a little louder?

      Nigel Tufnel: [pause] These go to eleven.

  2. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Pass the toasting fork

    and a gigaloaf.

    1. Mummy's 'ickle soldier

      Re: Pass the toasting fork

      1.21 Gigatwats!? I'm sorry Marty, the only organisation with that much twattery is the House of Commons. I'm afraid you're stuck here!

  3. Nibble

    New Measures Required?

    Can we use the notation system for other things that can't be expressed rationally?

    E.g. My mother-in-law is a Terabitch or that behaviour is clear Gigatwattery.

  4. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Enough!

    How long can these nuclear war games in space be tolerated? This is a clear violation of the 1963 Partial Test Ban Treaty prohibiting testing, orbiting, and placement of nuclear weapons in space.

    I call for immediate imposition of punitive economic sanctions on Egypt and declaring Mr Ra a persona non grata! I also demand a world-wide ban on singing "The Sun Has Got His Hat On"!! All children choirs must from now on start their performances with mandatory rendition of "The Sun Will Never Shine".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Enough!

      " I also demand a world-wide ban on singing "The Sun Has Got His Hat On"!!"

      I think the BBC are already on the case of that particular request.

  5. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

    Looked like a seismic event with it

    The shudder that moved north or upwards with the eruption was too slow for ligh and shadow wasn't it?

    Too fast for waves in the atmosphere to peak and trough too.

    Estimate the speed of sound to be between 1 and 4000 mph for the atmospheric pressure.

  6. Snapper
    Unhappy

    Can we have a whip-round...

    for the person mixing the sound on that video?

    He/She really needs some basic lessons in balancing a fairly rapidly spoken technical voice-over and Disney Credits-type music.

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