Moderate Solar Flare Erupts From Sun – Captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory

NASA SDO Solar Flare April 20 2022

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of a solar flare – as seen in the bright flash in the upper left portion of the image– on April 20, 2022. The image shows a subset of extreme ultraviolet light that highlights the extremely hot material in flares, and which is colorized in yellow. Credit: SDO/NASA

The Sun emitted a moderate solar flare on April 20, 2022, peaking at 9:59 p.m. ET. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), which watches the Sun constantly, captured an image of the event.

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory also captured solar flares (one M-Class and one X-Class) on April 19 and an X-Class solar flare on April 16. SDO is designed to aid in our understanding of the Sun’s influence on Earth and Near-Earth space by investigating the solar atmosphere on small scales of space and time and in many wavelengths simultaneously.

NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory

This animation of the Solar Dynamics Observatory shows it above the earth as it faces toward the Sun. SDO is designed to help us understand the Sun’s influence on Earth and Near-Earth space by studying the solar atmosphere on small scales of space and time and in many wavelengths simultaneously. Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab

Solar flares are powerful bursts of energy. Flares and solar eruptions can impact radio communications, electric power grids, navigation signals, and pose risks to spacecraft and astronauts.

This flare is classified as an M-Class flare. M-class flares are a tenth the size of the most intense flares, the X-class flares. The number provides more information about its strength. More info on how flares are classified can be found here.

Please visit NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center, the U.S. government’s official source for space weather forecasts, watches, warnings, and alerts, to see how such space weather may affect Earth. NASA serves as the nation’s space weather research arm. NASA constantly monitors the Sun and our space environment with a network of spacecraft that investigate everything from the Sun’s activity to the solar atmosphere, as well as the particles and magnetic fields in the space surrounding Earth.

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