LOADING...
Text Size
NASA's SDO Observes More Flares Erupting from Giant Sunspot
October 28, 2014

[image-95]

The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, an M6.6-class, peaking at 11:32 pm EDT on Oct. 28, 2014 – the latest in a series of substantial flares from a giant active region on the sun that first erupted with a significant solar flare on Oct. 19. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which constantly observes the sun, captured images of the event.

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.
 


UPDATE: October 27, 2014, 5:00 p.m. EDT

[image-77]

A large active region on the sun erupted with another X-class flare, an X2.0, on Oct. 27, 2014 -- its fourth since Oct. 24. The flare peaked at 10:47 a.m. EDT. 

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.

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.
 


NASA's SDO Observes More Flares Erupting from Giant Sunspot - October 27, 2014, 11:00 a.m. EDT

[image-50]

Continuing a week's worth of substantial flares beginning on Oct.19, 2014, the sun emitted two mid-level solar flares on Oct. 26 and Oct. 27. The first peaked at 8:34 pm EDT on Oct. 26, 2014, and the second peaked almost 10 hours later at 6:09 am EDT on Oct. 27. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which constantly observes the sun, captured images of both flares.

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.

The first flare was classified as an M7.1-class flare. The second flare was a bit weaker, classified as an M6.7-class.

M-class flares are one tenth as strong as X-class flares, which are the most intense flares. The number provides more information about its strength. An M2 is twice as intense as an M1, an M3 is three times as intense, etc.

The series of flares over the course of the previous week all erupted from a particularly large active region on the sun, labeled AR 12192 – the largest seen on the sun in 24 years. Active regions are areas of intense and complex magnetic fields that are often the source of solar flares.

Active regions are more common at the moment as we are in what's called solar maximum, which is the peak of the sun's activity, occurring approximately every 11 years.

What is a solar flare?

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

Related Links

› Download high resolution media from all flares from AR2192
› What does it take to be X-class?
› View Past Solar Activity
 

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

two blue images of sun with bright flare lower right
NASA's SDO captured images of two M-class flares erupting from the same region on the sun. The flare on the left peaked at 8:34 pm EDT on Oct. 26, 2014; the flare on the right peaked at 6:09 am EDT on Oct. 27, 2014. The images show EUV light of 131 Angstroms, which is typically colorized in teal.
Image Credit: 
NASA/SDO
Image Token: 
[image-50]
Sun releases another X2.0-class solar flare.
NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of an X2.0-class solar flare bursting off the lower right side of the sun on Oct. 27, 2014. The image shows a blend of extreme ultraviolet light with wavelengths of 131 and 171 Angstroms.
Image Credit: 
NASA/SDO
Image Token: 
[image-77]
SDO captured this image of the M6.6-class solar flare, peaking at 11:32 pm EDT on Oct. 28, 2014
A large active region erupts with a mid-level flare, an M6.6-class, in this image from NASA's SDO on the night of Oct. 27, 2014. The region will soon rotate over the right horizon of the sun and will no longer be facing Earth.
Image Credit: 
NASA/SDO
Image Token: 
[image-95]
Image Token: 
[image-69]
Image Token: 
[image-82]
Page Last Updated: October 28th, 2014
Page Editor: Holly Zell