May 8, 2012
Medium-Class Solar Flare Erupted On Tuesday
Lee Rannals for RedOrbit.com
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A medium-class solar flare erupted from the Sun on Tuesday, prompting scientists to keep their eye on the region for a space weather impact on Earth.
NASA said its Solar Dynamics Observatory (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sdo/main/index.html) caught the Sun pumping out an M1.4-class solar flare on the large active region 1476.
According to the space agency, the images seen by SDO unveil temperatures of around 10 million degrees K, or 18 million degrees Fahrenheit.
These medium-class solar flares are able to cause brief radio blackouts that affect Earth's polar regions. Also, NASA said minor radiation storms sometimes follow after a medium-class flare.
Scientists are keeping their eyes on the hot region since it is getting situated to cause space weather events on Earth.
The last large solar flare occurred on March 7, 2012, and was an X5.4-class, which is considered to be part of the largest class of solar activity.