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Last Post 10/18/2010 7:38 AM by  Mitzi Adams
Sun (solar flares)
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Jim Stryder

Basic Member

Basic Member

10/16/2010 3:55 PM

    Rebecca (Ever)

    How long was the longest solar flare measured?

    Terry Kucera

    Basic Member

    Basic Member

    10/18/2010 6:58 AM

    Hi Rebecca.

    It depends what you mean by long! If you mean long, as in long time, then the answer would be many hours, but I don't think people keep track of that.

    What we do try to keep track of is the flare that produces the most energy. It is a little hard to do because the brightest flares are too bright for our instruments to observe correctly! There was one which was especially bright on November of 2003. A large flare releases something like 10 million times the energy in a big volcanic explosion.

    Here is the list of the brightest flares we have observed since we started measuring them from space:


    "X" flares are the brightes tkind and the higher the number after the X the brighter the flare.

    Here is some stories related to the Nov. 4, 2003 flare:


    Some stars other than our Sun produce even brighter flares. See this story:

    Mitzi Adams

    Basic Member

    Basic Member

    10/18/2010 7:38 AM

    Hi Rebecca,

    The first flare to be seen with a telescope, was in 1859. Richard Carrington and Richard Hodgson independently observed a "white-light" flare on September 1, 1859. This flare is now referred to as a "super-flare", but it dimmed very quickly in white light. You might find it interesting to read Carrington's description of this event: http://articles.adsabs.ha...20//0000013.000.html

    Sun-Earth Day 2009 also has an interesting discussion of flares:


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