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NASA Releases Images of a Mid-level Solar Flare
October 2, 2014

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The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 3:01 p.m. EDT on Oct. 2, 2014.  NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun 24-hours a day, captured images of the flare. 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.

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

This flare is classified as an M7.3 flare. M-class flares are one-tenth as powerful as the most powerful flares, which are designated X-class flares.

Updates will be provided as needed.

What is a solar flare?

For answers to this and other space weather questions, please visit the Spaceweather Frequently Asked Questions page.

Related Link

› Download high resolution media
› View Past Solar Activity
 

Karen C. Fox
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

SDO captured this image of an M7.3 class solar flare on Oct. 2, 2014.
NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of a solar flare on Oct. 2, 2014. The solar flare is the bright flash of light on the right limb of the sun. A burst of solar material erupting out into space can be seen just below it.
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NASA/SDO
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A solar flare erupted on the right side of the sun on Oct. 2, 2014, while a cloud of solar material just below was flung out into space.
Image Credit: 
NASA/SDO/ Wiessinger
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Page Last Updated: October 7th, 2014
Page Editor: Holly Zell