The sun's strongest solar flare this year captured in NASA video

This blend of two images taken by NASAâ
AP Photo/NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory

The sun has fired off three of the strongest solar eruptions this year.

The flares occurred in a 24-hour period from May 12 to 13. NASA said the first flare was classified as an X1.7, making it the first X-class flare of 2013. The two that follow were classified as X2.8 and X3.2, with each growing stronger.

The powerful flares erupted on the side of the sun that was not facing Earth. While the planet was not hit with radiation, space weather forecasters say the solar blast briefly disrupted high-frequency radio signals.

Solar outbursts that are directed at Earth can affect communications systems and power grids and also produce colorful auroras.

NASA says radiation from the latest flare may stream toward two of its spacecraft, including the Spitzer Space Telescope. Engineers have the option to put them in safe mode to protect instruments from getting fried.

The side of the sun where Sunday's eruption occurred will rotate into Earth's view soon, allowing scientists to study the active region.

Watch NASA's video of the first X-class solar flares of 2013.