Biggest Solar Storm Since 2005
The sun erupted late on January 22, 2012 with an M8.7 class flare, an earth-directed coronal mass ejection (CME), and a burst of fast moving, highly energetic protons known as a "solar energetic particle" event. The latter has caused the strongest solar radiation storm since September 2005 according to NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center.
Solar Dynamics Observatory captured the flare, shown here in teal as that is the color typically used to show light in the 131 angstrom wavelength, a wavelength in which it is easy to view solar flares. The flare began at 10:38 PM ET on Jan. 22, peaked at 10:59 PM and ended at 11:34 PM.
The Solar Heliospheric Observatory captured the coronal mass ejection (CME) in this video (which shows the sun's activity from January 19 to January 23). The end of the movie shows the interference caused by the onslaught of fast, energetic solar particles emitted from the sun.
Credit: SOHO/ESA & NASA
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center