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Solar Flares: A User's Guide (Infographic)

X-class flares top the scale with the most energy and potential to disrupt communications on Earth.
X-class flares top the scale with the most energy and potential to disrupt communications on Earth. (Image credit: Karl Tate, SPACE.com Contributor)

The sun is by no means a quiet star and follows an 11-year weather cycle that ebbs and flows with solar activity. During active periods, the sun is prone to severe solar flares, but not ever sun storm is the same. See how the different types of solar flares stack up and how solar storms travel across our solar system in the SPACE.com infographic above.

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Karl Tate
Karl Tate

Karl's association with Space.com goes back to 2000, when he was hired to produce interactive Flash graphics. From 2010 to 2016, Karl worked as an infographics specialist across all editorial properties of Purch (formerly known as TechMediaNetwork).  Before joining Space.com, Karl spent 11 years at the New York headquarters of The Associated Press, creating news graphics for use around the world in newspapers and on the web.  He has a degree in graphic design from Louisiana State University and now works as a freelance graphic designer in New York City.