NASA Released January Solar Flare Images

The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 5:13 a.m. EST on
Jan. 7, 2014. Images of the flare were captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics
Observatory and showed that it came from an active region on the sun
that currently sports one of the largest sunspots seen in the last 10
years. Sunspots are regions of strong and complex magnetic fields on the
sun’s surface.
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.
To see how this event may impact Earth, please visit NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center at http://spaceweather.gov, the U.S. government’s official source for space weather forecasts, alerts, watches and warnings.
This flare is classified as an M7.2-class flare.

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