Small Flare Seen on the Sun, August 16, 2020

  • Released Thursday, August 20th, 2020
  • Updated Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023 at 1:44PM

Late on August 16, 2020, the Sun released a burst of light and energy known as a solar flare. This B1-class solar flare – the second smallest class of flare – peaked at 1:26p.m. EDT.

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory observes the Aug. 16, 2020, B-class flare at 131, 171, and 193 angstroms. Credit: NASA/SDO

Solar flares, which are abrupt outbursts of energy and light on the solar surface, are often accompanied by CMEs. B-class flares – or “background” flares – were originally the lowest class of flare before lower level A-class flares were observed. B-class flares are relatively common; there have been at least three B-class flares in the last week.

The recent activity occurred in an otherwise quiet area of the Sun, providing an example of activity that did not originate from a sunspot – the darkened, magnetically active patches on the solar surface that often spawn flares and CMEs.

The flare was first seen by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, which has kept a constant eye on the Sun for over a decade.

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory observes the Aug. 16, 2020 eruption at 193 angstroms. Credit: NASA/SDO

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory observes the Aug. 16, 2020 eruption at 193 angstroms.

Credit: NASA/SDO

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