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Sun unleashes mid-level flare

23.06.2015

The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 2:23 EDT on June 22, 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.


SDO captured this image of the mid-level flare, an M6.6-class, on June 22, 2015.

Credit: NASA/SDO

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 a M6.6 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.

Karen Fox | EurekAlert!

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