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NASA Captures Images of a Late Summer Flare

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Posted August 26, 2014

On Aug. 24, 2014, the sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 8:16 a.m. EDT. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured images of the flare, which erupted on the left side of the sun.

A bright solar flare can be seen on the left side of the sun in this image captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory on Aug. 24, 2014. Image Credit: NASA/SDO

A bright solar flare can be seen on the left side of the sun in this image captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory on Aug. 24, 2014. Image Credit: NASA/SDO

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 close-up of a moderate flare on Aug. 24, 2014, shows light in the 131 and 171 Angstrom wavelengths. The former wavelength, usually colorized in teal, highlights the extremely hot material of a flare. The latter, usually colorized in gold, highlights magnet loops in the sun's atmosphere. Image Credit: NASA/SDO

This close-up of a moderate flare on Aug. 24, 2014, shows light in the 131 and 171 Angstrom wavelengths. The former wavelength, usually colorized in teal, highlights the extremely hot material of a flare. The latter, usually colorized in gold, highlights magnet loops in the sun’s atmosphere. Image Credit: NASA/SDO

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

This flare is classified as an M5 flare. M-class flares are ten times less powerful than the most intense flares, called X-class flares.

Source: NASA

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