Saturday, June 01, 2024

Strong Solar X1.1 Flare Erupts from Sun | NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory

Strong Solar X1.1 Flare Erupts from Sun | NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory

The Sun emitted a strong solar flare, peaking at 6:03 p.m. ET on May 31, 2024. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). It watches the Sun constantly and captured an image of the event.

The Sun, shown in red, appears against a black background. Several bright yellow active regions appear across the Sun. A bright flash of yellow and white light can be seen in the lower left part of the Sun.

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of a solar flare—as seen in the bright flash on the lefton May 31, 2024. The image shows a subset of extreme ultraviolet light that highlights the extremely hot material in flares and which is colorized in red.

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.

Sunspot AR3664 (a.k.a. AR3697) has decayed, but it is still potent. This flare is classified as an X1.1 flare. X-class denotes the most intense flares, while the number provides more information about its strength.

The most famous sunspot in decades had its name changed. AR3664 caused the great May 10, 2024, superstorm. It has been re-numbered AR3697 following a 2-week trip around the farside of the Sun. This is an old tradition in solar physics that started long ago when astronomers had no way to track the continuity of farside sunspots.

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/SDO

Release Date: May 31, 2024

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