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Will there be an X-Class solar flare before October 1, 2018?

The 2-octallion ton ball of plasma that we cutely call "the sun" is constantly seething. With some regularity, the sun "flares." Per NASA:

A solar flare is an intense burst of radiation coming from the release of magnetic energy associated with sunspots. Flares are our solar system’s largest explosive events. They are seen as bright areas on the sun and they can last from minutes to hours.

As you might expect, not all flares are created equal. Scientists clasify them according to intensity. Per convention, the smallest flare class is "A"; then we have "B" and "C"; for some reason, we skip to "M"; and, lastly, we finish with the fearsome "X", which, among other things, can knock out radio communications around the world.

X-Class flares are the rarest. And they can be dangerous to Earthlings and our technology, especially if the flare's business end points right at us. Here's a description of a mega flare (technically, an X28 on the scale) that blasted forth from the sun in November, 2003:

The effects on Earth were many: Radio blackouts disrupted communications. Solar protons penetrated Earth's upper atmosphere, exposing astronauts and some air travelers to radiation doses equal to a medical chest X-ray. Auroras appeared all over the world--in Florida, Texas, Australia and many other places where they are seldom seen.

X-Class flares are uncommon, but not that uncommon. Last September, for instance, saw a spate of them.

What do you think? Will the sun blast off another X-Class flare before October 1, 2018? (For a positive resolution, SpaceWeatherLive site must report the flare as X-class.


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