NASA - Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) patch.
March 11, 2015
Image above: NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured an image of a mid-level solar flare on March 11, 2015, seen as a bright flash of light on the left side of the sun. Earth is shown for scale. Image Credit: NASA/SDO.
The sun emitted a significant solar flare, peaking at 12:22 p.m. EDT on March 11, 2015. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun constantly, 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.
Sun Unleashes an X-Class Flare on March 11, 2015
Video above: This movie shows an X2.2-class solar flare on March 11, 2015. The imagery was captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory in extreme ultraviolet light. Image Credit: NASA/SDO.
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 X2.2-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: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sunearth/spaceweather/index.html
Download high resolution media of this event: http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/details.cgi?aid=11805
View Past Solar Activity: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sunearth/multimedia/Solar-Events.html
Image (mentioned), Video (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Karen C. Fox.