NASA’s SDO captures huge solar flares in gorgeous GIF

nasa goddard sdo solar flares sept 2017 feature

Human beings might be under siege thanks to the current tropical weather on Earth, but in space, the Sun’s atmosphere is seemingly more active than normal too.

NASA’s SDO (Solar Dynamics Obervatory) recorded two massive solar flares that erupted from the star’s surface Wednesday, both the most intense the organisation has seen since 2008.

nasa goddard sdo solar flare september 2017

GIF: NASA/Goddard/SDO

“Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation,” NASA explains.

“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.”

And that it did, for a short moment.

The NOAA’s space weather division noted that sunlit areas of Earth experienced high-frequency radio blackouts, and deterioration in low frequency communication used by navigational equipment “for about an hour”.

Feature image: NASA/GSFC/SDO

Andy Walker
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