The newly revealed AR3663 sunspot region produced two powerful solar flares six hours apart.

RADIO BLACKOUT IN 3 COUNTRIES

The first eruption occurred last night, May 2, when the sun emitted its most powerful category X solar flare, causing brief radio blackouts in Australia, Japan and much of China.

The next flare occurred this morning, May 3, when the second most powerful category flare, the M-class solar flare, peaked.

Shortly after the X-flare, the US Air Force reported a Type 2 solar radio burst, "a type of natural radio signal emitted by shocked gas at the leading edge of a coronal mass ejection," Spaceweather reported.

HOW MANY CATEGORIES ARE SOLAR FLARES DIVIDED INTO?

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Solar flares are large bursts of energy suddenly released on the Sun. They are divided into 5 categories, A, B, C, M and X, according to their explosive power and impact. Class M and X flares are the most dangerous

Solar flares, which cause negative effects on radio communications and power grids on Earth, have an 11-year cycle.