Sun Blasts Out 3 Powerful Bursts of Energy in Last 24 Hours

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NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of a solar flare – as seen in the bright flash in the center of the image – on May 4, 2022. The image shows a subset of extreme ultraviolet light that highlights the extremely hot material in flares, and which is colorized in yellow. Credit: NASA/SDO

In the last 24 hours, the sun emitted two M-class solar flares and one X-class flare. On the scale used to classify solar flares, X-class are the most intense, and M-class is one level below that. This comes on the heels of several other large outbursts.

The Sun emitted a moderate solar flare on May 4, 2022, peaking at 5:00 a.m. ET. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the Sun constantly, captured an image of the event.  This flare is classified as an M-class flare.

NASA SDO Solar Flare May 3 2022

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of a solar flare – as seen in the bright flash in the lower-left portion of the image – on May 3, 2022. The image shows a subset of extreme ultraviolet light that highlights the extremely hot material in flares, and which is colorized in yellow. Credit: NASA/SDO

The Sun emitted a moderate solar flare on May 3, 2022, peaking at 8:19 p.m. ET. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the Sun constantly, captured an image of the event. This flare is classified as an M-class flare. M-class flares are a class below the most intense flares, the X-class flares. 

NASA SDO Solar Flare May 3 2022

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of a solar flare – as seen in the bright flash in the bottom left portion of the image – on May 3, 2022. The image shows a subset of extreme ultraviolet light that highlights the extremely hot material in flares and which is colorized in yellow. Credit: NASA

The Sun emitted a strong solar flare on May 3, 2022, peaking at 9:25 a.m. EDT. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the Sun constantly, captured an image of the event. This flare is classified as an X-class flare. X-class denotes the most intense flares, while the number provides more information about its strength.

Solar flares are powerful bursts of energy. Flares and solar eruptions can impact radio communications, electric power grids, and navigation signals. They also pose risks to spacecraft and astronauts. More info on how flares are classified can be found here.

NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory

This animation of the Solar Dynamics Observatory shows it above the earth as it faces toward the Sun. SDO is designed to help us understand the Sun’s influence on Earth and Near-Earth space by studying the solar atmosphere on small scales of space and time and in many wavelengths simultaneously. Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab

Please visit NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center, the U.S. government’s official source for space weather forecasts, watches, warnings, and alerts, to see how such space weather may affect Earth. NASA serves as the nation’s space weather research arm. NASA constantly monitors the Sun and our space environment with a network of spacecraft that investigate everything from the Sun’s activity to the solar atmosphere, as well as the particles and magnetic fields in the space surrounding Earth.



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