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Kool Image Spring Fling: Sun Emits a Mid-Level Flare

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Solar Flare

Spring Fling: Sun Emits a Mid-Level Flare


Scientists produce some amazing images while performing their research. Astronomers are no different. An April 11, 2013 solar flair provided astronomers the opportunity to track the sun’s solar cycle.

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 disrupts the radio signals for as long as the flare is ongoing, anywhere from minutes to hours.

The flare’s coronal mass ejection (CME), another solar phenomenon that can send billions of tons of solar particles into space, reached Earth one day later producing a temporary radio blackout.

It also produced the incredible image that is today’s cool image. Available as a 16″ X 20″ poster at our store.

Credit: NASA/SDO