The sun emitted a significant solar flare, peaking at 7:49 p.m. EST on Feb. 24, 2014. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which keeps a constant watch on the sun, captured images of the event.
This flare is classified as an X4.9-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.
Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation, appearing as giant flashes of light in the SDO images. 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.
This video is public domain and can be downloaded at: http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a010000/...
Like our videos? Subscribe to NASA's Goddard Shorts HD podcast:
Or find NASA Goddard Space Flight Center on Facebook:
Or find us on Twitter:
~ ~ ~
X 4.9 Flare To Strike Earth Wed. 6PM Eastern | BPEarthWatch
http://youtu.be/m_5OcquztSc [embedding disabled]
http://youtu.be/W-j0iW7biPE [embedding disabled]