First Notable Solar Flare of 2015

©NASA

Mid-level solar flare on Jan. 12, 2015

The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 11:24 p.m. EST on Jan. 12, 2015.

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. Image Credit: NASA/SDO

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