By Sarah Lewin, Space.com Associate Editor
This article was updated at 5:44 p.m. EDT to indicate that a coronal mass ejection was observed coming from the site of the solar flare.
Early this morning (Sept. 6), the sun released two powerful solar flares — the second was the most powerful in more than a decade.
At 5:10 a.m. EDT (0910 GMT), an X-class solar flare — the most powerful sun-storm category — blasted from a large sunspot on the sun’s surface. That flare was the strongest since 2015, at X2.2, but it was dwarfed just 3 hours later, at 8:02 a.m. EDT (1202 GMT), by an X9.3 flare, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC). The last X9 flare occurred in 2006 (coming in at X9.0).