NASA: Stunning 4K Video of Flares Bursting From the Sun [Video]
NASA has released a stunning 4k video of a flare bursting from the sun that occurred at 8:29 pm EDT on April 17, 2016.
The solar flare was captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun constantly and provides astonishing photos and videos of our sun. The flare was classified as an M6.7 class flare. M-class flares are mid-level solar flare about tenth of the size of the most intense flares classified as the X-class flares.
The number provides more information about its strength. An M2 is twice as intense as an M1, an M3 is three times as intense, etc., as reported by NASA.
It occurred on the sun's active region known as Active Region 2529, which contains a large dark spot known as sunspot. Sunspots are evidence of a complex magnetic activity on a certain area in the sun, leading to solar eruptions, or solar flares, that send of light and radiation out into space.
These radiations being sent out by the sun are very harmful to humans, but thanks to the Earth's atmosphere, it never reaches the ground to physically affect us. But if by chance the sun bursts out an intense solar flare, it can bring disturbance in the layer of the atmosphere where GPS communication signals travel.
The flare on April 17 caused a moderate radio blackout during its peak, according to NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center.
A solar flare occurs when magnetic energy that has built up in the solar atmosphere is suddenly released. It was first observed by Richard C. Carrington and Richard Hodgson on September 1, 1859.
The amount of energy released in a typical solar flare is equivalent to millions of 100-megaton hydrogen bombs exploding simultaneously, while large flares can emit energy up to ten million times greater than the energy release during a volcanic eruption.