Second Substantial Flare in Two Days

  • Released Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014
  • Updated Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023 at 1:50PM

An active region on the sun erupted with a mid-level flare on Oct. 21, 2014, as seen in the bright light of this image captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. This image shows extreme ultraviolet light that highlights the hot solar material in the sun's atmosphere. Credit: NASA/GSFC/SDO

An active region on the sun erupted with a mid-level flare on Oct. 21, 2014, as seen in the bright light of this image captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. This image shows extreme ultraviolet light that highlights the hot solar material in the sun's atmosphere.

Credit: NASA/GSFC/SDO

The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 9:59 p.m. EDT on Oct. 21, 2014. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which is always observing the sun, captured an image of the event. The same active region previously emitted an X1.1 solar flare on Oct. 19. 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 flare is classified as an M 8.7-class flare.

M-class denotes flares that are a tenth as strong as X-class flares, which are the most intense flares. The number provides more information about its strength. An M2 is twice as intense as an M1, an M3 is three times as intense, etc.

An active region on the sun erupted with a mid-level flare on Oct. 21, 2014, as seen in the bright light of this image captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. This image shows extreme ultraviolet light that highlights the hot solar material in the sun's atmosphere.  Shown here with the Earth to scale. Credit: NASA/GSFC/SDO

An active region on the sun erupted with a mid-level flare on Oct. 21, 2014, as seen in the bright light of this image captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. This image shows extreme ultraviolet light that highlights the hot solar material in the sun's atmosphere. Shown here with the Earth to scale.

Credit: NASA/GSFC/SDO

An active region on the sun erupted with a mid-level flare on Oct. 21, 2014, as seen in the bright light of this image captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. This image shows extreme ultraviolet light that highlights the hot solar material in the sun's atmosphere. Credit: NASA/GSFC/SDO

An active region on the sun erupted with a mid-level flare on Oct. 21, 2014, as seen in the bright light of this image captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. This image shows extreme ultraviolet light that highlights the hot solar material in the sun's atmosphere.

Credit: NASA/GSFC/SDO

An active region on the sun erupted with a mid-level flare on Oct. 21, 2014, as seen in the bright light of this image captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. This image shows extreme ultraviolet light that highlights the hot solar material in the sun's atmosphere. Credit: NASA/GSFC/SDO

An active region on the sun erupted with a mid-level flare on Oct. 21, 2014, as seen in the bright light of this image captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. This image shows extreme ultraviolet light that highlights the hot solar material in the sun's atmosphere.

Credit: NASA/GSFC/SDO

SDO AIA image of the M8.7 flare in 171 angstrom light from 2:09 UT on October 22, 2014.Credit:NASA/SDO

SDO AIA image of the M8.7 flare in 171 angstrom light from 2:09 UT on October 22, 2014.

Credit:NASA/SDO

SDO AIA image of the M8.7 flare in 304 angstrom light from 2:09 UT on October 22, 2014.Credit:NASA/SDO

SDO AIA image of the M8.7 flare in 304 angstrom light from 2:09 UT on October 22, 2014.

Credit:NASA/SDO

SDO AIA image of the M8.7 flare in 131 angstrom light from 2:09 UT on October 22, 2014.Credit:NASA/SDO

SDO AIA image of the M8.7 flare in 131 angstrom light from 2:09 UT on October 22, 2014.

Credit:NASA/SDO



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Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. However, individual images should be credited as indicated above.


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  • 2014 Heliophysics Breaking News (ID: 2014015)
    Tuesday, December 30, 2014 at 5:00AM
    Produced by - Robert Crippen