NASA snaps image of late summer solar flare

1 Sep 2014

Images via NASA/Solar Dynamics Observatory

A mid-level solar flare lashed out of the sun on 24 August and US space agency NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured an image of the event in all its blazing glory.

The flare, on the left side of the sun, reached its peak at 8.16am EDT (1.16pm Irish time), NASA said.

While solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation, harmful radiation from a flare can’t pass through the Earth’s atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground.

If the flares are intense enough, however, they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer in which GPS and communications signals travel, NASA said.

The space agency classified the 24 August flare as M5. M-class flares are 10 times less powerful than the most intense flares, which are classified as X-class flares.

Here is the image of the 24 August solar flare in its entirety:

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic