May 8, 2014
Mid-Level Solar Flare Erupts From The Sun
Karen C. Fox, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 6:07 a.m. EDT on May 8, 2014, and NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, captured images of it. 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 impact 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 M5.2-class flare. M class flares are on the order of a tenth as strong as the most intense flares, the X-class flares.
What is a solar flare and what is M-class?
For answers to these and other space weather questions, please visit the Spaceweather Frequently Asked Questions page.