Holiday Lights on the Sun: NASA Image of the Day

By Last Updated: December 22, 2014Views: 2730

It’s like a giant Christmas ornament in the sky! Not really. Still, pretty cool though. Be sure to watch the video at the bottom.

Imagery of a Solar Flare

The sun emitted a significant solar flare, peaking at 7:28 p.m. EST on Dec. 19, 2014. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun constantly, captured an image of the event. 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 X1.8-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.

Courtesy of NASA.org | Image Credit: NASA/SDO

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