Sun  ID: 4151

Looking Back: The Record Flare for Solar Cycle 24

On August 9, 2011 at 3:48 a.m. EDT, the sun emitted an Earth-directed X6.9 flare, as measured by the NOAA GOES satellite. These gigantic bursts of radiation cannot pass through Earth's atmosphere to harm humans on the ground, however they can disrupt the atmosphere and disrupt GPS and communications signals. In this case, it appears the flare is strong enough to potentially cause some radio communication blackouts. It also produced increased solar energetic proton radiation — enough to affect humans in space if they do not protect themselves.

As of March 2014, this flare is the largest of solar cycle 24.

Here are the raw images used in creating the components in Sun Unleashes X6.9 Class Flare on August 9, 2011


Visualization Credits

Tom Bridgman (GST): Lead Animator
Scott Wiessinger (USRA): Producer
Laurence Schuler (ADNET): Project Support
Ian Jones (ADNET): Project Support
Scott Wiessinger (USRA): Writer
William D. Pesnell (NASA/GSFC): Lead Scientist
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio, the SDO Science Team, and the Virtual Solar Observatory.

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Data Used:
SDO/AIA/304 Filter 2011-08-09T07:50 - 2011-08-09T08:20
SDO/AIA/193 Filter 2011-08-09T07:50 - 2011-08-09T08:20
SDO/AIA/171 Filter 2011-08-09T07:50 - 2011-08-09T08:20
SDO/AIA/131 Filter 2011-08-09T07:50 - 2011-08-09T08:20
SDO/AIA/335 Filter 2011-08-09T07:50 - 2011-08-09T08:20
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

GCMD >> Earth Science >> Sun-earth Interactions
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Sun-earth Interactions >> Solar Activity >> Solar Flares
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Sun-earth Interactions >> Solar Activity >> Solar Ultraviolet
SVS >> Space Weather
SVS >> Solar Dynamics Observatory
SVS >> Heliophysics
SVS >> Corona
NASA Science >> Sun
SVS >> Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging
SVS >> EUV Imaging

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version