NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory Sees Three Solar Flares

Sun Emits 3 X Class Solar Flares in 2 Days

Three X-class flares erupted from the left side of the sun June 10-11, 2014. These images are from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory and show light in a blend of two ultraviolet wavelengths: 171 and 131 angstroms. The former is colorized in yellow; the latter, in red. Image Credit: NASA/SDO

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory has recorded three X-class flares emitted from the Sun in the last two days.

The sun emitted a significant solar flare, peaking at 7:42 a.m. EDT on June 10, 2014. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory – which typically observes the entire sun 24 hours a day — captured images of the flare.

This flare is classified as an X2.2 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.

About one hour later, the sun released a second X-class flare, peaking at 8:52 a.m. EDT on June 10, 2014. This is classified as an X1.5 flare.

On June 11, 2014, the sun erupted with its third X-class flare in two days. The flare was classified as an X1.0 and it peaked at 5:06 a.m. EDT. Images of the flare were captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. All three flares originated from an active region on the sun that recently rotated into view over the left limb 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.

Image: NASA/SDO

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