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The largest solar flare in six years and the planned launch of the US Space Force’s X-37B space plane

Recent developments in space science have highlighted two significant phenomena: the largest solar flare in over six years and the planned launch of the U.S. Space Force’s X-37B space plane.

Unleashing Cosmic Energy: The Largest Solar Flare Since 2017

Last week, our planet witnessed the largest solar flare since 2017, an X2.8 category flare, eclipsing the previously recorded X2.2 in intensity. Originating from sunspot AR 3514, this solar event peaked at 1702 UTC on December 14 and resulted in significant radio blackouts across the sunlit side of Earth. Such powerful flares, while expected during the sun’s cycle peak, underscore the sun’s potential to disrupt terrestrial technologies.

The flare‚Äôs intensity, classified as Class X‚ÄĒthe highest category for solar flares‚ÄĒposed potential risks for power grid fluctuations and complications for spacecraft in low Earth orbit. This event serves as a reminder of our planet‚Äôs vulnerability to solar activities and the importance of space-based telescopes in monitoring these cosmic events.

The Mysterious X-37B Space Plane’s Upcoming Mission

In the realm of space exploration, the X-37B space plane, operated by the U.S. Space Force, is set to embark on a new mission aboard a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket. Initially scheduled for an earlier launch, the mission was postponed, with a new target date set for December 28. This will mark the eighth launch of the Falcon Heavy, the second-most powerful rocket in operation.

The X-37B, shrouded in mystery, has been the subject of much speculation, especially regarding the duration and objectives of its missions. The spacecraft’s previous mission lasted 908 days, and the upcoming mission is expected to surpass this duration. The Space Force’s reticence on specific details adds to the intrigue surrounding the X-37B.

The recent solar flare and the upcoming launch of the X-37B highlight the dynamic and unpredictable nature of space activities. From the sun’s powerful flares impacting Earth to covert space missions, these events reflect our growing engagement with space and the continuous need to understand and prepare for cosmic phenomena. As we continue to explore and utilize space, the importance of vigilance and innovation in space technology and exploration remains paramount.

Bilgesu Erdem
Bilgesu Erdem
Bilgesu graduated from Ankara University, Faculty of Communication, Department of Radio, Television and Cinema. After working as a reporter for various television channels and a newspaper, Bilgesu is currently working as a content editor at Newslinker. She loves technology and animals.

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