Space

Powerful X1 Solar Flare Erupts From Sun

NASA SDO Solar Flare October 2022

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of a solar flare – as seen in the bright flash on the top right – on October 2, 2022. The image shows a subset of extreme ultraviolet light that highlights the extremely hot material in flares and which is colorized in orange. Credit: NASA/SDO

The Sun emitted a strong solar flare, peaking at 4:25 p.m. EDT (1:25 p.m. PDT) on October 2, 2022. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, which constantly watches the Sun, captured an image of the event (see above).

Solar flares are powerful bursts of energy from the Sun. Flares and solar eruptions can pose risks to spacecraft and astronauts. They can also affect things on Earth including radio communications, navigation signals, and electric power grids.

Artist’s concept of the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab

This flare is classified as an X1 flare. X-class denotes the most intense flares, while the number provides more information about its strength. More information on how flares are classified can be found here.

To see how space weather like this can affect Earth, please visit NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center. It is the U.S. government’s official source for space weather forecasts, watches, warnings, and alerts. NASA works as a research arm of the nation’s space weather effort. NASA constantly observes the Sun and our space environment with a fleet of spacecraft that study everything from the Sun’s activity to the solar atmosphere, and to the particles and magnetic fields in the space surrounding Earth.

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