The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 11:24 p.m. EST on Jan. 12, 2015. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun constantly, captured an image of the event.
Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth's atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground, however -- when intense enough -- they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel.
To see how this event may affect Earth, please visit NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center at http://spaceweather.
This flare is classified as an M5.6-class flare. M-class flares are a tenth the size of the most intense flares, the X-class flares.
The number provides more information about its strength. An M2 is twice as intense as an M1, an M3 is three times as intense, etc.
Susan Hendrix | EurekAlert!
NASA Protects its super heroes from space weather
17.08.2017 | NASA/Johnson Space Center
New thruster design increases efficiency for future spaceflight
16.08.2017 | American Institute of Physics
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
17.08.2017 | Earth Sciences
17.08.2017 | Life Sciences
17.08.2017 | Materials Sciences