Sun Releases Moderate and Strong Solar Flares – Captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory

NASA SDO M-Class Solar Flare April 2022

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of a solar flare – as seen in the bright flash in the lower right portion of the image– at 9:35 p.m. EST on April 19, 2022. The image shows a subset of extreme ultraviolet light that highlights the extremely hot material in flares and is colorized in SDO channel color blue. Credit: NASA/SDO

The Sun emitted two solar flares on April 19, 2022, one moderate (M-Class) peaking at 9:35 p.m. EST and one strong (X-Class) peaking at 11:57 p.m. EST. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), which watches the Sun constantly, captured an image of both events.

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

SDO Artist's Concept

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

The flare pictured above is classified as an M-Class flare. M-class flares are a class below 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.

NASA SDO X-Class Solar Flare April 2022

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of a solar flare – as seen in the bright flash in the lower right portion of the image– at 11:57 p.m. EST on April 19, 2022. The image shows a subset of extreme ultraviolet light that highlights the extremely hot material in flares and is colorized in SDO channel color blue. Credit: NASA/SDO

The flare pictured above is classified as an X-Class flare. X-class denotes the most intense flares.

To see how such space weather may affect Earth, please visit NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center, 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 observes the Sun and our space environment constantly 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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