Science

Solar Flare Caught in NASA Image

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of a solar flare – as seen in the bright flash in the center of the image – on May 4, 2022. The image shows a subset of extreme ultraviolet light that highlights the extremely hot material in flares, and which is colorized in yellow. Credit: NASA/SDO

The Sun emitted a moderate solar flare on May 4, 2022, peaking at 5:00 a.m. ET. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the Sun constantly, captured an image of the event.

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

 This flare 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.

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