Sun emits biggest solar flare of 2014
The sun emitted a significant solar flare on Monday, which is said to be biggest of 2014.
NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which keeps a constant watch on the sun, captured images of the event in multiple wavelengths.
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.
The SDO images from Feb. 24 show the first moments of an X-class flare in different wavelengths of light -- seen as the bright spot that appears on the left limb of the sun.
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.
(Posted on 26-02-2014)