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PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:
25-Feb-2014

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Contact: Susan Hendrix
Susan.m.hendrix@nasa.gov
301-286-7745
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
@NASAGoddard

NASA's SDO shows images of significant solar flare

IMAGE: An X-class solar flare erupted on the left side of the sun on the evening of Feb. 24, 2014. This composite image, captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory satellite at...

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The sun emitted a significant solar flare, peaking at 7:49 p.m. EST on Feb. 24, 2014. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which keeps a constant watch on the sun, captured images of the event.

Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation, appearing as giant flashes of light in the SDO images. 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.

To see how this event may impact Earth, please visit NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center, the U.S. government's official source for space weather forecasts, alerts, watches and warnings.

This flare is classified as an X4.9-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.

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