Big Pic: The Sun Emitted Three Enormous Flares In 24 Hours

The flares caused radio blackouts for about an hour each.

Three Solar Flares June 10 and June 11, 2014

NASA/SDO/Goddard

The sun emitted three X-class flares—the most powerful type—over June 10 and June 11. Very sparkly. Each flare blasted enough radiation to cause blackouts in radio communications for about an hour on the sunlit side of Earth, according to the U.S. National Weather Service.

The sun, which goes through cycles of activity that last about 11 years, is now entering a solar maximum. The flares all occurred in a region of the sun that recently rotated toward Earth. Still, our home star's current liveliness is much weaker than other solar maximums on record, Space.com reports. Check out a more detailed explanation of the three recent flares there, and check out Discover magazine's ImaGeo blog for descriptions of some powerful past solar events.