NASA - Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) patch.
Aug. 24, 2015
Image above: NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of a mid-level solar flare on the sun – as seen in the bright spot in the lower center of the solar disk on Aug. 24, 2015. The image shows a subset of extreme ultraviolet light that highlights the extremely hot solar material, which is typically colorized in red. Image Credits: NASA/SDO.
The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 3:33 a.m EDT on Aug. 24, 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.
NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft. Image Credit: NASA
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 M 5.6 class flare. M-class flares are a tenth the size of the most intense flares, the X-class 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.
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
View Past Solar Activity: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sunearth/solar-events-news/index.html
For more information about Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), visit: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sdo/main/index.html
Image (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Karen C. Fox.