Solar Dynamics Observatory Captures Image of Mid-level Flare

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured an image of a mid-level solar flare emitted from the sun on September 4th.

The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 4:33 pm EDT on September 4, 2017. 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.

This flare is classified as an M5.5 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. An M2 is twice as intense as an M1, an M3 is three times as intense, etc.

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

NASA Goddard Space Flight CenterSDOSolar Dynamics ObservatorySolar FlareSpace Weather