Washington, March 14 (ANI): NASA spotted the sun emitting a mid-level solar flare on Wednesday.
The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 6:34 p.m. EDT on March 12, 2014, and NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, captured an image of it.
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 flare is classified as an M9.3 flare, just slightly weaker than the most intense flares, which are labeled X-class. The letters denote broad categories of strength, while the numbers provide more information. An M2 is twice as intense as an M1, an M3 is three times as intense, etc.
This M9.3 flare was emitted by an active region - a magnetically strong and complex region on the sun's surface - labeled AR 11996. (ANI)