The Sun Emits a Mid-level Flare and CME
The sun emitted a mid-level flare, peaking at 3:16 a.m. EDT on April 11, 2013.
Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. 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. This disrupts the radio signals for as long as the flare is ongoing, anywhere from minutes to hours.
This flare is classified as an M6.5 flare, some ten times less powerful than the strongest flares, which are labeled X-class flares. M-class flares are the weakest flares that can still cause some space weather effects near Earth. This flare produced a radio blackout that has since subsided. The blackout was categorized as an R2 on a scale between R1 and R5 on NOAA's space weather scales.
This is the strongest flare seen so far in 2013. Increased numbers of flares are quite common at the moment, since the sun's normal 11-year activity cycle is ramping up toward solar maximum, which is expected in late 2013. Humans have tracked this solar cycle continuously since it was discovered, and it is normal for there to be many flares a day during the sun's peak activity.
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Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
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2013 Heliophysics Breaking News
Tuesday, December 31, 2013 at 5:00AM
Produced by - Robert Crippen
Datasets used in this visualization
SOHOID: 93NASA and ESA
SOHO LASCO/C2 (C2)ID: 160Collected with Large Angle Spectrometric COronagraph (LASCO) NASA and ESA
SOHO LASCO/C3 (C3)ID: 161Collected with Large Angle Spectrometric COronagraph (LASCO) NASA and ESA
SDO AIA 171 (171 Filter)ID: 680Collected with AIA JOINT SCIENCE OPERATIONS CENTER
SDO AIA 131 (131 Filter)ID: 730Collected with AIA JOINT SCIENCE OPERATIONS CENTER
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