The Sun may not be done yet, either - the large group of sunspots, which is visible through a protective solar filter (including those solar eclipse glasses you may still have lying around), has already sent out other, weaker M-class flares.
"X-class denotes the most intense flares, while the number provides more information about its strength". The two solar flares that were recorded were measured at X9.3 and X2.2 flare.
"So this one happened to have the right ingredients".
What's the deal with the flares?
This means a multitude of things for us Earthians.
Solar particles that make it to atmosphere can have a dramatic effect on neutral molecules, causing them to glow.
Usually the oval of the aurora stays close to the poles, where charged particles are dragged down along magnetic field lines.
A huge solar storm in 1859-known as the Carrington Event-caused telegraph systems across Europe and North America to fail and auroras associated with the solar winds could be seen as far south as the Caribbean.
As a result, radiation flowing from the sun's surface may bring brilliant auroras and strong geomagnetic storms to Earth through Saturday (Sept. 9), according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC). Sun also has a magnetic field like the Earth.
That said, Phillips doesn't think that these solar storms will pose too much of a problem for modern systems on our planet. "We're not having X-flares every day for a week, for instance - the activity is less frequent, but no less potentially strong". While we're treated to a fantastic light show in the form of the northern lights (which are expected tonight, due to a CME that left the sun on Tuesday), powerful CMEs can cause power grid disruptions. These solar flares have a measurement scale of their own.
According to the U.S. space agency, the second flare was the most intense recorded since the start of this sun cycle in December 2008.