Headlines > News > NASA's SDO Observes an X-class Solar Flare

NASA's SDO Observes an X-class Solar Flare

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Mon Oct 20, 2014 4:40 pm via: NASA
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The sun emitted a significant solar flare, peaking at 1:01 a.m. EDT on Oct. 19, 2014. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, which is always observing the sun, 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.

A solar flare surges off the lower left hand of the sun in this image captured by NASA's SDO on Oct. 19, 2014. The image was captured in extreme ultraviolet wavelength of 131 Angstroms – a wavelength that can see the intense heat of a flare and that is typically colorized in teal.  Image Credit: NASA/SDO

A solar flare surges off the lower left hand of the sun in this image captured by NASA's SDO on Oct. 19, 2014. The image was captured in extreme ultraviolet wavelength of 131 Angstroms – a wavelength that can see the intense heat of a flare and that is typically colorized in teal. Image Credit: NASA/SDO

To see how this event may affect Earth, please visit NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center, the U.S. government’s official source for space weather forecasts, alerts, watches and warnings.

This flare is classified as an X1.1-class flare.

X-class denotes the most intense flares, while the number provides more information about its strength. An X2 is twice as intense as an X1, an X3 is three times as intense, etc.

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