X Marks the Spot

From National Geographic

On August 9 the sun shot out an X-class solar flare, the most intense type of flare, aimed directly at Earth. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of the flare in extreme ultraviolet light.

The megaflare unleashed charged particles from the sun, which can boost auroral displays but can also disrupt GPS and communications signals when they reach Earth.

NASA warned that the August 9 flare could cause scattered radio blackouts, but that an associated coronal mass ejection—a dense cloud of solar particles—would miss the planet, minimizing risks to satellites and the power grid.

Image: NASA/SDO/AIA

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s