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Image credit: LoganArt

A huge solar flare temporarily knocked out GPS communications

The sun did its biggest burp in 12 years.
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LoganArt

On the morning of 6 September the sun let out two pretty sizeable burps of radiation. Both were considered X-class -- the strongest type of solar flare -- with one of them proving to be the most powerful since 2005. If a solar flare is directed at Earth, which these ones were, it can generate a radiation storm that interferes with radio and GPS signals. The biggest flare ever recorded, in 2003, was so strong it even knocked out NASA's solar measurement equipment. These recent belches weren't quite on par with that, but they were enough to jam high frequency radios and interfere with GPS systems for about an hour on the side of the Earth facing the sun. Put your hand over your mouth, sun! Rude!

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