Feeds

'Graceful' solar flare erupts from surface of Sun – NASA vid

Mid-level radiation explosion captured by SDO

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

Video NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory has released a video of a "graceful" solar flare erupting out of the Sun's surface on 2 April.

Youtube Video

The flare shows up on the Sun as sudden swirls of brightness, indicating the bursts of radiation in an M6.5 class eruption.

"“The image shows the flare in a blend of two wavelengths of extreme ultraviolet light: 131 Angstroms and 171 Angstroms, colourised in yellow and red, respectively,” NASA explained.

M-class flares are 10 times less powerful than the most intense flares, labelled X-class, which could theoretically cause a lot of damage on Earth. While a flare's harmful radiation can't get through our planet's atmosphere to affect us on the ground, it could disturb the atmosphere enough to disrupt GPS and communications.

It's when solar flares come alongside coronal mass ejections that humanity really has to watch out. The two events don't have to happen together, but they often do. In a CME, fluctuations in the Sun's magnetic fields cause a large portion of its surface to explode, shooting billions of tons of particles out into space in a huge magnetic shockwave. If the Earth was hit by one big enough, its own magnetic field could be unpredictably disrupted, frying electronics along with communications and navigational systems.

A solar flare's strength is counted on a scale as well as by letter, so an M2 class eruption is twice as intense as an M1, an M3 is three times as intense and so on, making last week's eruption a mid-level one. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.