A look at October 8, 2012′s M2.3-class solar flare.
M-class flares are medium-sized flares. They are larger than the C-class but not as strong as the X-class flares. M-class flares can cause brief radio blackouts that affect Earth’s polar regions. Minor radiation storms sometimes follow an M-class flare.
The C, M and X-classification has a subcategory from 1 to 9. For example a C9 flare is weaker than a M1.
This particular flare and associated coronal mass ejection was not Earth directed. The active region, however, will soon be turning onto the Earth facing side of the Sun. We will continue to observe this region over the next few days.
Credit: NASA SDO