Eerie Video Shows Solar Flare Eruption Ahead of Halloween Sun-Storm Warning

NASA shared stunning footage of a solar flare erupting into space as a sun storm threatens to cause disruption on the eve of Halloween.

The clip of the sun's surface was recorded by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) between October 25 at 4 p.m. EDT through to 10 a.m. EDT on October 26. It's 18 hours worth of activity.

It shows the inner turmoil of our home star, its surface teeming with activity. Around the side, a particularly active portion of the sun can be seen ejecting material into deep space. The footage, shared with Newsweek, can be seen above.

The activity appears to have taken place shortly before satellites recorded a sharp increase in x-ray radiation from the sun that has continued for days.

On Thursday, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Space Weather Prediction Center declared that an X-1 class solar flare had occurred. X-class flares are the strongest type, but they can get much stronger than X-1.

In any case, the flare was enough to cause an R3 "strong" radio blackout, according to the NOAA.

Explaining whether the flares shooting out of the side of the sun in the SDO video could be linked to the ongoing activity we're experiencing, NASA solar video producer Scott Wiessinger told Newsweek that the same active region of the sun could produce more flares as it slowly turns toward Earth.

"As it rotates around toward us, we'll probably see an increase in flux and strengthening flares because we're looking more and more directly at it," Weissinger said. "In the footage from the 25th-26th, it's pointed off to the side, so it's like looking at a torch or flashlight angled away from you. In a few more days we'll be looking 'right down the beam.'"

Meanwhile, the NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center has issued a warning for a strong geomagnetic storm that could hit Earth on Saturday, the day before Halloween.

Impact of Geomagnetic Storm

The center said that the potential effects of the storm could be that power systems will experience voltage irregularities; that spacecraft might get confused as to which way up they are; and that satellite navigation systems could also suffer errors.

In addition, an aurora—the captivating lights in the sky also called the Northern or Southern Lights—may be visible in latitudes as low as Pennsylvania to Iowa to Oregon.

The sun's recent activity comes after another geomagnetic storm that occurred earlier this month. Scientists also warned then of issues with power systems and other potential effects.

Solar flares are caused when the sun suddenly releases a huge amount of energy from one particular spot. This happens when the sun's twisted magnetic field lines tangle, reorganize, or cross over one another due to the constant movement of electrically charged gases on the star's surface.

Solar flare
A screenshot from the NASA/SDO footage of a solar flare earlier this week. These sun flares can cause disruption here on Earth. NASA / SDO