NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) captured a mid-level solar flare on Thursday, revealing a sudden explosion on the sun's surface.
The phenomenon, which was categorized as an M5.5 class flare, is caused by strong magnetic forces and tends to be a concern for astronomers.
According to NASA, the event can affect electrical power grids on Earth and cause regional blackouts, as well as pose health hazards to spacecraft and astronauts.
The Sun emitted a significant solar flare early this morning, peaking at 1:01 a.m. ET. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured an image of the event, which was classified as M5.5.https://t.co/9RsMR5suI3 pic.twitter.com/zK9mADK47H
— NASA Sun & Space (@NASASun) January 20, 2022
Even though Thursday's solar flare had the potential to disrupt high-frequency radio communications and radio contact, the Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) says no incidents were reported.
SWPC says the eruption can last from minutes to hours and the sudden outburst travels at the speed of light.
And solar flares usually take place in active regions, which are areas on the sun marked by the presence of strong magnetic fields.
Solar activities have occurred for years.
Last October, the Northern Lights put on an impressive show over the Halloween weekend with auroras visible from the U.K. to North America.
— Melissa Lamkin (@WxWagner) October 30, 2021
The Carrington Event, which was classified as one of the most powerful solar storms in history, happened on Sept. 1, 1859. It emitted electrified gas and subatomic particles toward Earth, wreaking havoc on telegraph networks.
Some believed it was the end of the world, rather it was a massive solar flare with the energy of 10 billion atomic bombs.