Massive Solar Flare Causes Radio Blackout

This timelapse covers approximately four hours and was captured at a wavelength of 304 angstroms. Source and more details:

Radiation from the flare ionized the top of Earth’s atmosphere, causing a strong shortwave radio blackout over the Atlantic Ocean and Europe (see map below). Signals below 30 MHz were attenuated for more than an hour. More from Cap Allon at Electroverse.

In Argentina, photographer Eduardo Schaberger Poupeau was already pointing his solar telescope at the sun when the flare occurred.

“At that very moment I was trying to photograph new sunspot AR3004,” says Poupeau. “Suddenly I received an X-flare alert on my smartphone. I quickly switched to the sun’s southeastern limb where debris thrown up by the flare was still very bright.”

The sunspot responsible for the blast has been visible for less than a day, writes the excellent Dr Tony Phillips over at, yet already it has unleashed 9+ solar flares (more than six Cs, two Ms and one X).