from nbcnews.com: It's fitting that a powerful solar flare created a bright X-shaped pattern in this extreme ultraviolet view of the sun's disk, captured Saturday by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. The blast rates as an X-class flare, which puts it in the most serious category of solar flares. Saturday's outburst comes after a series of M-class outbursts from the same sunspot region, known as AR 2017. The SolarHam website reports that the X1 flare caused a brief radio blackout. It also sent out a storm of electrically charged particles, known as a coronal mass ejection. However, SolarHam said the brunt of the storm was apparently "directed to the north and away from Earth."