MEGA-FLARE: Giant sunspot 486 unleashed yet another powerful solar flare today (Nov. 4th, 1950 UT), and this one could be historic. The blast saturated X-ray detectors onboard GOES satellites at X17.4 for 11 minutes. The last time such a thing happened in 2001 the flare was classified as an X20--the biggest ever. This one might be even bigger; stay tuned for updates. Ionizing radiation from the flare hit Earth's atmosphere soon after the explosion and caused a severe radio blackout, which radio listeners noticed across North America. The explosion also hurled a coronal mass ejection (CME) into space. Although the CME is not heading directly toward Earth, it could deliver a glancing blow to our planet's magnetic field on Nov. 5th. http://spaceweather.com/ Truly bizarre, especially considering that we are at solar minimum.