Giant Sunspot Continues to Erupt with Substantial Flares
The sun emitted a significant solar flare, peaking at 5:40 p.m. EDT on Oct. 24, 2014. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun constantly, captured images of the event. 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 X3.1-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.
The flare erupted from a particularly large active region -- labeled AR 12192 -- on the sun that is the largest in 24 years. This is the fourth substantial flare from this active region since Oct. 19.
The giant active region on the sun erupted on Oct. 26, 2014, with it's sixth substantial flare since Oct.19. This flare was classified as an X2-class flare and it peaked at 6:56 am EDT.
Continuing a week's worth of substantial flares beginning on Oct.19, 2014, the sun emitted two mid-level solar flares on Oct. 26 and Oct. 27. The first peaked at 8:34 pm EDT on Oct. 26, 2014, and the second peaked almost 10 hours later at 6:09 am EDT on Oct. 27. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which constantly observes the sun, captured images of both flares.
A large active region on the sun erupted with another X-class flare, an X2.0, on Oct. 27, 2014 -- its fourth since Oct. 24. The flare peaked at 10:47 a.m. EDT.
The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, an M6.6-class, peaking at 11:32 pm EDT on Oct. 28, 2014
Active region AR 12192 on the sun erupted with an X2.0 flare on Oct. 27, 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. Cropped.
Active region AR 12192 on the sun erupted with an X2.0 flare on Oct. 27, 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. With Earth to scale.
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NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. However, individual images should be credited as indicated above.
- Karen Fox (ADNET Systems, Inc.)
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2014 Heliophysics Breaking News
Tuesday, December 30, 2014 at 5:00AM
Produced by - Robert Crippen