On Tuesday, May 3, 2022, the Sun released two new flares. One of the solar flares was mild, categorized as an M-class flare, while the other was designated as an X-class flare, which designates the most powerful flares.
The moderate solar flare peaked at 8:19 p.m. ET, while the intense X-Class outburst peaked at 9:25 a.m. EDT, according to NASA. Both incidents were photographed by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO).
Solar flares are defined by NASA as strong bursts of radiation. A solar flare’s harmful radiation cannot pass through Earth’s atmosphere to harm humans on the ground, but it can disrupt the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and telecommunication signals flow if it is strong enough.
Solar flares and eruptions can even endanger spacecraft and astronauts.
When charged particles from a coronal mass ejection erupt from the sun reach the Earth and interact with its upper atmosphere, auroras may be enhanced. Those particles move across our planet’s magnetic field lines and excite molecules high in the atmosphere, creating colourful lights, assuming Earth is in the direction of the outburst.