Sun Unleashes Rare Solar Flares

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In a rare occurrence, the sun unleashed four major solar flares over just a few days.

Last week's flares were one a side of the sun that wasn't facing Earth; otherwise, they could have dealt a huge blow to Earth's electronic infrastructure.

Still, one AccuWeather astronomer reports these flares disrupted some satellite communications, even causing a few blackouts lasting up to 25 minutes.

Solar storms have the potential to interact with the Earth's magnetic field, causing radio blackouts, disrupting satellites and GPS signals and, in extreme cases, disrupting power grids.

But experts say a marked increase in solar activity is common in the 11-year activity cycle, and they expect more strong solar flares in the days ahead.

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