An X-9.3 solar flare exploded from sunspot AR 2673 at 1202 UT today, blacking out shortwave over Europe, Africa and the Atlantic Ocean as X-rays and UV radiation ionized Earth's upper atmosphere. The explosion also generated a coronal mass ejection. It is still being modeled by NOAA to determine whether or not it is Earth-directed. According to SpaceWeather.com, this flare ranks as the #14th strongest since 1976.
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