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First X-Class Solar Flares of 2013

On May 13, 2013, the sun emitted an X2.8-class flare, peaking at 12:05 p.m. EDT. This is the the strongest X-class flare of 2013 so far, surpassing in strength the X1.7-class flare that occurred 14 hours earlier. It is the 16th X-class flare of the current solar cycle and the third-largest flare of that cycle. The second-strongest was an X5.4 event on March 7, 2012. The strongest was an X6.9 on Aug. 9, 2011.

On May 12, 2013, the sun emitted a significant solar flare, peaking at 10 p.m. EDT. This flare is classified as an X1.7, making it the first X-class flare of 2013. The flare was also associated with another solar phenomenon, called a coronal mass ejection (CME) that can send solar material out into space. This CME was not Earth-directed.

The May 12 flare was also associated with a coronal mass ejection, another solar phenomenon that can send billions of tons of solar particles into space, which can affect electronic systems in satellites and on the ground. Experimental NASA research models show that the CME left the sun at 745 miles per second and is not Earth-directed, however its flank may pass by the STEREO-B and Spitzer spacecraft, and their mission operators have been notified. If warranted, operators can put spacecraft into safe mode to protect the instruments from solar material. There is some particle radiation associated with this event, which is what can concern operators of interplanetary spacecraft since the particles can trip computer electronics on board.

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Other multimedia items related to this story:
     X-Class: A Guide to Solar Flares (id 10109)
     NASA Scientists Answer Top Space Weather Questions (id 10959)
More information on this topic available at:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sunearth/news/News051213-flare.html

On May 12-13 the sun erupted with an X1.7-class and an X2.8-class flare as well as two coronal mass ejections, or CMEs, off the upper left side of the sun.  Solar material also danced and blew off the sun in what's called a prominence eruption, both in that spot and on the lower right side of the sun.  This movie compiles imagery of this activity from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory and from the ESA/NASA Solar Heliospheric Observatory. Credit: NASA/SDO/ESA/SOHO Music:    On May 12-13 the sun erupted with an X1.7-class and an X2.8-class flare as well as two coronal mass ejections, or CMEs, off the upper left side of the sun. Solar material also danced and blew off the sun in what's called a prominence eruption, both in that spot and on the lower right side of the sun. This movie compiles imagery of this activity from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory and from the ESA/NASA Solar Heliospheric Observatory.

Credit: NASA/SDO/ESA/SOHO

Music: "Long Range Cruise" by Lars Leonhard, courtesy of the artist and BineMusic.

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Duration: 3.5 minutes
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The sun erupted with an X1.7-class solar flare on May 12, 2013.  This is a blend of two images of the flare from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) -- one image shows light in the 171 Angstrom wavelength, the other in 131 Angstroms. Credit: NASA/SDO/AIA    The sun erupted with an X1.7-class solar flare on May 12, 2013. This is a blend of two images of the flare from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) -- one image shows light in the 171 Angstrom wavelength, the other in 131 Angstroms.

Credit: NASA/SDO/AIA

Available formats:
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  320 x 180         JPEG     17 KB


The sun erupted with an X1.7-class solar flare on May 12, 2013.  This is a blend of two images of the flare from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) -- one image shows light in the 171 Angstrom wavelength, the other in 131 Angstroms. Credit: NASA/SDO/AIA    The sun erupted with an X1.7-class solar flare on May 12, 2013. This is a blend of two images of the flare from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) -- one image shows light in the 171 Angstrom wavelength, the other in 131 Angstroms.

Credit: NASA/SDO/AIA

Available formats:
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  2048 x 2048     JPEG   837 KB


On May 13, 2013, an X2.8-class flare erupted from the sun – the strongest flare of 2013 to date. This image of the flare, shown in the upper left corner, was captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory in light of 131 Angstroms, a wavelength which is particularly good for capturing the intense heat of a solar flare and which is typically colorized in teal. Credit: NASA/SDO    On May 13, 2013, an X2.8-class flare erupted from the sun – the strongest flare of 2013 to date. This image of the flare, shown in the upper left corner, was captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory in light of 131 Angstroms, a wavelength which is particularly good for capturing the intense heat of a solar flare and which is typically colorized in teal.

Credit: NASA/SDO

Available formats:
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Four images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory of an X3.2-class flare from late at night on May 13, 2013.  Starting in the upper left and going clockwise, the images show light in the 304, 335, 193 and 131 Angstrom wavelengths.  By looking at the sun in different wavelengths, scientists can view solar material at different temperatures, and thus learn more about what causes flares. Credit: NASA/SDO/AIA    Four images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory of an X3.2-class flare from late at night on May 13, 2013. Starting in the upper left and going clockwise, the images show light in the 304, 335, 193 and 131 Angstrom wavelengths. By looking at the sun in different wavelengths, scientists can view solar material at different temperatures, and thus learn more about what causes flares.

Credit: NASA/SDO/AIA

Available formats:
  2048 x 1152     JPEG       3 MB
  673 x 379         JPEG   107 KB


Four images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory of an X3.2-class flare from late at night on May 13, 2013.  Starting in the upper left and going clockwise, the images show light in the 304, 335, 193 and 131 Angstrom wavelengths.  By looking at the sun in different wavelengths, scientists can view solar material at different temperatures, and thus learn more about what causes flares. Unlabeled version. Credit: NASA/SDO/AIA    Four images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory of an X3.2-class flare from late at night on May 13, 2013. Starting in the upper left and going clockwise, the images show light in the 304, 335, 193 and 131 Angstrom wavelengths. By looking at the sun in different wavelengths, scientists can view solar material at different temperatures, and thus learn more about what causes flares. Unlabeled version.

Credit: NASA/SDO/AIA

Available formats:
  2048 x 1152     JPEG       3 MB
  673 x 379         JPEG   105 KB


These pictures from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory show the three X-class flares that the sun emitted in under 24 hours on May 12-13, 2013. The images show light with a wavelength of 131 Angstroms, which is particularly good for showing solar flares and is typically colorized in teal. Credit: NASA/SDO/AIA    These pictures from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory show the three X-class flares that the sun emitted in under 24 hours on May 12-13, 2013. The images show light with a wavelength of 131 Angstroms, which is particularly good for showing solar flares and is typically colorized in teal.

Credit: NASA/SDO/AIA

Available formats:
  2048 x 1150     JPEG       4 MB
  673 x 378         JPEG     88 KB


These pictures from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory show the three X-class flares that the sun emitted in under 24 hours on May 12-13, 2013. The images show light with a wavelength of 131 Angstroms, which is particularly good for showing solar flares and is typically colorized in teal. Credit: NASA/SDO/AIA    These pictures from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory show the three X-class flares that the sun emitted in under 24 hours on May 12-13, 2013. The images show light with a wavelength of 131 Angstroms, which is particularly good for showing solar flares and is typically colorized in teal.

Credit: NASA/SDO/AIA

Available formats:
  2048 x 1150     JPEG       4 MB
  673 x 378         JPEG     83 KB


These images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory show four X-class flares emitted on May 12-14, 2013 – the first four X-class flares of 2013. Each panel is a blend of two images one showing light in the 171 Angstrom wavelength and the other in 131 Angstroms. Credit: NASA/SDO/GSFC    These images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory show four X-class flares emitted on May 12-14, 2013 – the first four X-class flares of 2013. Each panel is a blend of two images one showing light in the 171 Angstrom wavelength and the other in 131 Angstroms.

Credit: NASA/SDO/GSFC

Available formats:
  2048 x 1152     JPEG       2 MB
  673 x 379         JPEG     95 KB


These images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory show four X-class flares emitted on May 12-14, 2013 – the first four X-class flares of 2013. Each panel is a blend of two images one showing light in the 171 Angstrom wavelength and the other in 131 Angstroms. Unlabeled. Credit: NASA/SDO/GSFC    These images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory show four X-class flares emitted on May 12-14, 2013 – the first four X-class flares of 2013. Each panel is a blend of two images one showing light in the 171 Angstrom wavelength and the other in 131 Angstroms. Unlabeled.

Credit: NASA/SDO/GSFC

Available formats:
  2048 x 1152     JPEG       2 MB


These images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory show four X-class flares emitted on May 12-14, 2013 – the first four X-class flares of 2013. Each panel shows the flare in 131 Angstrom light. Credit: NASA/SDO/GSFC    These images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory show four X-class flares emitted on May 12-14, 2013 – the first four X-class flares of 2013. Each panel shows the flare in 131 Angstrom light. Credit: NASA/SDO/GSFC

Available formats:
  2048 x 1152     JPEG       3 MB
  673 x 379         JPEG     99 KB


These images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory show four X-class flares emitted on May 12-14, 2013 – the first four X-class flares of 2013. Each panel shows the flare in 131 Angstrom light.  Unlabeled. Credit: NASA/SDO/GSFC    These images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory show four X-class flares emitted on May 12-14, 2013 – the first four X-class flares of 2013. Each panel shows the flare in 131 Angstrom light. Unlabeled. Credit: NASA/SDO/GSFC

Available formats:
  2048 x 1152     JPEG       3 MB


These images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory show four X-class flares emitted on May 12-14, 2013 – the first four X-class flares of 2013. Each panel shows the flare in 131 Angstrom light. Credit: NASA/SDO/GSFC    These images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory show four X-class flares emitted on May 12-14, 2013 – the first four X-class flares of 2013. Each panel shows the flare in 131 Angstrom light. Credit: NASA/SDO/GSFC

Available formats:
  2048 x 1150     JPEG       5 MB


These images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory show four X-class flares emitted on May 12-14, 2013 – the first four X-class flares of 2013. Each panel shows the flare in 131 Angstrom light. Unlabeled. Credit: NASA/SDO/GSFC    These images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory show four X-class flares emitted on May 12-14, 2013 – the first four X-class flares of 2013. Each panel shows the flare in 131 Angstrom light. Unlabeled. Credit: NASA/SDO/GSFC

Available formats:
  2048 x 1150     JPEG       5 MB


NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of sunspot group AR 1748, associated with all 4 X class solar flares on May 15, 2013. The image shows a blend of HMI continuum (similar to visible light) and AIA 304 angstrom extreme ultraviolet. Credit: NASA/SDO    NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of sunspot group AR 1748, associated with all 4 X class solar flares on May 15, 2013. The image shows a blend of HMI continuum (similar to visible light) and AIA 304 angstrom extreme ultraviolet.

Credit: NASA/SDO

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SOHO LASCO C2 image of the May 13, 2013 associated CME. Credit: ESA&NASA/SOHO    SOHO LASCO C2 image of the May 13, 2013 associated CME.

Credit: ESA&NASA/SOHO

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SOHO LASCO C2 view of CME associated with the X2.8 flare. Credit: NASA&ESA/SOHO    SOHO LASCO C2 view of CME associated with the X2.8 flare.

Credit: NASA&ESA/SOHO

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SDO 304 Angstrom image of prominence eruption. Cropped. Credit: NASA/SDO    SDO 304 Angstrom image of prominence eruption. Cropped.

Credit: NASA/SDO

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SDO 304 Angstrom frames of May 13 flare and prominence eruption. Credit: NASA/SDO    SDO 304 Angstrom frames of May 13 flare and prominence eruption.

Credit: NASA/SDO

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Short URL to This Page:http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?11285
Animation Number:11285
Completed:2013-05-13
Animator:Tom Bridgman (GST) (Lead)
Video Editor:Scott Wiessinger (USRA)
Producers:Scott Wiessinger (USRA)
 Genna Duberstein (USRA)
Writer:Karen Fox (ASI)
Series:Narrated Movies
 Heliophysics Breaking News
Goddard TV Tape:G2013-021 -- 2013 Heliophysics Breaking News
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. However, individual items should be credited as indicated above.
 
Keywords:
SVS >> CME
SVS >> Coronal Mass Ejection
SVS >> HDTV
SVS >> Solar Flare
SVS >> Solar Ultraviolet
SVS >> Solar Wind
SVS >> Sun
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Sun-earth Interactions
SVS >> Space Weather
SVS >> SDO
SVS >> Solar Dynamics Observatory
SVS >> Heliophysics
SVS >> Corona
NASA Science >> Sun
 
 


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Many of our multimedia items use the GCMD keywords. These keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation:
Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 8.0.0.0.0

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