Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Sun Releases Strong X3.4 Solar Flare | NASA SDO

Sun Releases Strong X3.4 Solar Flare | NASA SDO

The Sun emitted a strong X3.4 solar flare from active region 3664, peaking at 4:37 a.m. ET on May 15, 2024. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured an image of the event. It observes the sun continuously.

Image Description: The Sun, shown in teal, against a black background. Swirling across the Sun are many bright teal active regions. On the right, a bright flash of teal and white light, forming an "X" shape, can be seen against the Sun and the black background.

The image shows a subset of extreme ultraviolet light that highlights the extremely hot material in flares. It is colorized in teal. 

Solar flares are powerful bursts of energy. Flares and solar eruptions can impact radio communications, electric power grids, navigation signals, and pose risks to spacecraft and astronauts.

This flare is classified as an X3.4 flare. X-class denotes the most intense flares, while the number provides more information about its strength.

To see how such space weather may affect Earth, please visit NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center, the U.S. government’s official source for space weather forecasts, watches, warnings, and alerts. NASA works as a research arm of the nation’s space weather effort. 

NASA observes the Sun and our space environment constantly with a fleet of spacecraft that study everything from the Sun’s activity to the solar atmosphere, and to the particles and magnetic fields in the space surrounding Earth.

Image Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC)

Image Date: May 15, 2024

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