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  • Context (TOI): The Sun has exhibited a “super” explosion, characterised by the simultaneous eruption of four solar flares.

Quadruple solar flare incident

  • The quadruple solar flares erupted from separate regions across the Sun’s surface.
  • Each of these originated from different sunspots and a large magnetic filament—a loop of plasma suspended above the solar surface.
  • The blast sites were spaced very far, yet the flares were part of a single, interconnected eruption known as a Sympathetic solar flare.

Sympathetic Solar Flares

  • This type of solar outburst occurs when sunspots or filaments are invisibly linked by massive magnetic field loops that arch above the solar surface, resulting in successive outbursts.
  • Sympathetic solar flares typically involve just two linked flares, varying in intensity from minor outbursts to X-class flares, the most powerful class of solar flares.
  • Recent outbursts had twice as many flares, earning it the designation of a “super-sympathetic” flare.
  • The concurrent blasts covered approximately a third of the solar surface facing Earth.
  • One of the flares may have launched a solar storm toward Earth.
  • Subsequent Coronal Mass Ejections and their potential trajectory toward Earth are yet to be confirmed.
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