Feeds

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

Mid-level radiation explosion captured by SDO

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.