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Timelapse Captures Powerful Solar Flare

An astrophotography enthusiast captured timelapse footage of one of the sun’s most powerful solar eruptions in three years on November 29 from his backyard in Elk Grove, California. Andrew McCarthy recorded this video of the solar flare and posted it to Twitter. McCarthy told Storyful the activity was an M-class or medium sized solar flare. According to, solar flares are categorized by size, from C-class to major X-class flares. They are further ranked on a scale from 1 to 9, with larger numbers meaning larger flares. This solar explosion was measured as an M4.4 flare. Solar flares can trigger radio blackouts. X-class flares, the largest flare, can cause planet-wide radio blackouts on Earth, according to Dr Tony Phillips, author of Phillips’s website said that this blast caused a “shortwave radio blackout over the South Atlantic.” “Ham radio operators [amateur radio operators] and mariners may have noticed strange propagation effects at frequencies below 20 MHz, with some transmissions below 10 MHz completely extinguished,” Phillips wrote. Credit: Andrew McCarthy via Storyful
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