The sun emitted a significant solar flare peaking at 10:29 a.m. EDT on July 3, 2021. 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.
To see how such space weather may affect Earth, please visit NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center at spaceweather.gov, the U.S. government’s official source for space weather forecasts, watches, warnings and alerts.
This flare is classified as an X1.5-class flare.
X-class denotes the most intense flares, while the number provides more information about its strength. An X2 is twice as intense as an X1, an X3 is three times as intense, etc.
Featured image: This image comes from the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly telescope/94 Angstrom channel, which shows solar material at about 10 million degrees Fahrenheit. Credit: NASA/SDO
Provided by NASA