LOADING...
Text Size
NASA's SDO Observes an X-class Solar Flare
October 20, 2014

[image-50]

The sun emitted a significant solar flare, peaking at 1:01 a.m. EDT on Oct. 19, 2014. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which is always observing the sun, 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 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 X1.1-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.

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

› What does it take to be X-class?
› View Past Solar Activity
 

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

A solar flare surges off the lower left hand of the sun in this image captured by NASA's SDO on Oct. 19, 2014.
A solar flare surges off the lower left hand of the sun in this image captured by NASA's SDO on Oct. 19, 2014. The image was captured in extreme ultraviolet wavelength of 131 Angstroms – a wavelength that can see the intense heat of a flare and that is typically colorized in teal.
Image Credit: 
NASA/SDO
Image Token: 
[image-50]
Image Token: 
[image-69]
Image Token: 
[image-82]
Page Last Updated: October 20th, 2014
Page Editor: Holly Zell