The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 5:40 p.m. EST on Nov. 3, 2014. 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.
NASA's SDO captured this image of a solar flare on the sun on Nov. 3, 2014. 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 where GPS and communications signals travel.
Image 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 an M6.5 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.
Updates will be provided as needed.
What is a solar flare?
For answers to this and other space weather questions, please visit the Spaceweather Frequently Asked Questions page.
Karen C. Fox
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland
Rob Gutro | EurekAlert!
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