The sun let loose its strongest solar flare yet this year on Mother's Day. Classified as a massive, X 1.7-class solar eruption, the flare was captured on camera by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory as it sparked an hour-long high-frequency radio blackout.
Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation that can sling the harmful material through space toward Earth. Fortunately, this radiation cannot pass through our atmosphere to impact humans on the ground. However, it can sometimes disturb the atmosphere enough so that it disrupts radio signals.