NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory Views M-Class Solar Flare

SDO Spots First Notable Solar Flare of 2015

An M-class solar flare erupts from the right side of the sun in this image from shortly before midnight EST on January 12, 2015. The image blends two wavelengths of light — 171 and 304 angstroms — as captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory.

The first significant solar flare of 2015 was spotted by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory.

The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 11:24 p.m. EST on January 12, 2015. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun constantly, 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.

SDO Views Solar Flare

Giant magnetic loops dance on the sun’s horizon in concert with the eruption of a solar flare — seen as a bright flash of light — in this imagery from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, captured January 12-13, 2015.

Image Credit: NASA/SDO

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