The Sun Is Crackling With Solar Flares. What Does That Mean?

From a Washington Post story by Matthew Cappucci and Joe Kunches headlined “The sun is crackling with ‘solar flares.’ Here’s what that means.”:

After a long period of relative slumber, the sun is waking up and sputtering with unrest. Experts say the start of the new “solar cycle” could be roaring like a lion — with impacts possible here on Earth.

In just the past week, three X-class solar flares — the strongest bracket on the scale — have erupted on the sun’s surface. Solar flares are bursts of energy that travel at the speed of light, composed of electromagnetic radiation that can affect radio communications. None has been aiming toward Earth, but that could change in the weeks ahead.