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Sun emits significant solar flare

12.03.2015

NASA's SDO satellite sees flare

The sun emitted a significant solar flare, peaking at 12:22 p.m. EDT on March 11, 2015.


NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured an image of a mid-level solar flare on March 11, 2015, seen as a bright flash of light on the left side of the sun. Earth is shown for scale.

Credit: NASA/SDO

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.gov, the U.S. government's official source for space weather forecasts, alerts, watches and warnings.

This flare is classified as an X2.2-class flare. X-class denotes the most intense flares, while the number provides more information about its strength. An X2 is twice as intense as an X1, an X3 is three times as intense, etc.

Susan Hendrix | EurekAlert!

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