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Summer 2012's X1.4-Class Solar Flare

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Published on Jul 13, 2012

The sun's surface erupted into an angry solar flare on July 12, 2012 at 12:52 p.m. EDT.

The X1.4-class flare unleashed about 1 billion hydrogen bombs' worth of energy into space. Right behind it is a slower-moving coronal mass ejection, or CME, which is a belch of solar particles.

When strong CME's reach Earth, they can peel back Earth's magnetic layers, cause dazzling auroras, affect satellites in space and even fluctuate power grids.

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