The Sun emitted a significant solar flare, peaking at 12:22 pm EDT (4:22 pm GMT) on March 11th, 2015. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the Sun constantly, captured an image of the event.
In this video, solar material can be seen blasting away from the flare location. Image credit: NASA/SDO
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 affect Earth, please visit NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center, the U.S. government’s official source for space weather forecasts, alerts, watches and warnings.
This flare is classified as an X2.2-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. Updates will be provided as needed.