Nasa captures powerful X-class solar flares emitted by the sun

The sun released an intense third flare on Wednesday morning

Nasa has captured dramatic images of the sun as it emitted three X-class solar flares, the second of which occurred just an hour after the first.

Nasa’s Solar Dynamics Observatory observed the sun as a significant solar flare burst from its left side, peaking at 7.42 am EDT on 10 June. The sun then released a second X-class flare which peaked just over an hour later at 8.52am.

The third, classified as an X1.0, erupted today and peaked at 5:06 a.m. EDT.

Nasa explains that solar flares are the most powerful bursts of radiation that cannot pass through Earth's atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground.

However, the flares can disturb the Earth’s atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel.

The second X-class flare of June 10, 2014, appears as a bright flash on the left side of this image from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (NASA/SDO) The second X-class flare of June 10, 2014, appears as a bright flash on the left side of this image from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (NASA/SDO) Tuesday's flares, which measured X2.2 and X1.5, were reportedly powerful enough to temporarily interfere with radio communications in Europe.

Dr Dan Brown, an astronomy expert at Nottingham Trent University, said the flares can create a radio blackout event classed as "R3" which are common during the sun's activity cycle. 

Michael Lockwood, a Professor of Space Environment Physics at the University of Reading, said any interference would have been short-lived. He told The Independent: “You do get radio noise from solar flares and if you can see the actual flare then you will pick up radio noise. It can affect radar communications systems, but it is quite a brief pulse.

These images are from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory and show light in a blend of two ultraviolet wavelengths: 171 and 131 angstroms. The former is colorised in yellow; the latter, in red. (NASA/SDO) These images are from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory and show light in a blend of two ultraviolet wavelengths: 171 and 131 angstroms. The former is colorised in yellow; the latter, in red. (NASA/SDO) "More significant is if there is an associated coronal mass ejection (CME) - very large amounts of material being blown out of atmosphere into space. From the position of this, it won’t be directed towards us – they have to be much nearer to the centre of the visible disc of the sun to hit us."

The arrival of one of these CMEs would disrupt satellite communications, he explained, but this was not directed at Earth.

"We are talking about the effects purely on radio systems," he added.

The 'X' classification represents the most intense flares, and the number reflects how strong the flare is. For example, an X2 is twice as intense as an X1, and an X3 is three times as intense.

The X2.2 was not the strongest kind of X-ray flare encountered in our solar cycle, said Dr Brown. "This was the X5.4 rated flare in March 2012.”

News
people
News
people And here is why...
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsWelsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
News
i100
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Associate Recrutiment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Group have been well ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: Real Staffing Group is seeking Traine...

Year 6 Teacher (interventions)

£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...

PMLD Teacher

Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain