The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, beginning at 11:57 p.m. EST on Feb. 3, 2014, and peaking at midnight EST. NASA released images of the flare as captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory.
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 impact 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 M5.2 flare. Updates will be provided as needed.