Feeds

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

Mid-level radiation explosion captured by SDO

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
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.
Seattle children’s accelerates Citrix login times by 500% with cross-tier insight
Seattle Children’s is a leading research hospital with a large and growing Citrix XenDesktop deployment. See how they used ExtraHop to accelerate launch times.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
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?