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Sun Unleashes Huge X-Class Solar Flare

22/10/2014 11:28 BST | Updated 22/10/2014 11:59 BST

The Sun has fired off a massive X-Class solar flare which astronomers are suggesting could be the start of a huge increase in solar activity.

NASA's Solar Dynamic Observatory captured the X-class flare -- the most powerful there is -- erupting from a massive Active Region on the star's surface.

Since the solar flare the sun spot has apparently doubled in size and is now around 78,000 miles wide -- that's almost as wide as Jupiter.

solar flare

Until now the sun spot has been facing away from Earth but according to Tony Phillips from Spaceweather.com that could all be about to change as it is starting to rotate around towards us.

Is that something to worry about? While Sunday's flare was the most powerful of the year X-Class flares still aren't dangerous to the population.

Instead the damage they cause will be to electrical equipment such as orbiting satellites and radio equipment down on the ground.