NASA Captures Images Of A Late Summer Flare

August 25, 2014
Image Caption: This close-up of a moderate flare on Aug. 24, 2014, shows light in the 131 and 171 Angstrom wavelengths. The former wavelength, usually colorized in teal, highlights the extremely hot material of a flare. The latter, usually colorized in gold, highlights magnet loops in the sun's atmosphere. Credit: NASA/SDO

Karen C. Fox, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

On Aug. 24, 2014, the sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 8:16 a.m. EDT. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured images of the flare, which erupted on the left side of the sun. 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 M5 flare. M-class flares are ten times less powerful than the most intense flares, called X-class flares.

Updates will be provided by NASA as needed.

Source: Karen C. Fox, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

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