SUMMARY: Our star goes through an 11-year cycle of solar activity. At the recent height of the cycle, the Sun blasted off some of the most powerful flares and coronal mass ejections ever seen. And during the minimum, due in 2006, it's supposed to be calm, right? Well, not exactly. Even during the lowest point of solar activity, the Sun still blasts off a few of the most powerful X-class flares. Unprotected astronauts caught in the radiation would probably get pretty sick.
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