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September 08, 2017 Friday 03:20:45 PM IST

Sun continues to emit solar flares

Science Innovations

Washington: After NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured images of two significant solar flares on Wednesday, the US space agency said the Sun again emitted two mid-level solar flares on Thursday.

The first peaked at 6:15 a.m. EDT. The second, larger flare, peaked at 10:36 a.m. EDT, NASA said. These two flares are, in fact, the fourth and fifth sizable flares from the same active region since September 4. 

Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. 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. The first flare emitted on Thursday was classified as an M7.3 flare, the second as X1.3. 


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. M-class flares are a tenth the size of X-class flares.

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