OMG. Is it the end of the world? Is everyone we love and care about soon to be incinerated by a massive radioactive blast from the sun? Will my iPhone still work?
This image, take by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, is actually a mid-level M-class flare, and one of several that have occurred in the same spot over the past few days. They are harmless and can't pass through the atmosphere, according to NASA, but stronger flares have been known to affect GPS and communications on Earth.
There was a streak of more intense X-class flares during the last week of October, which the Space Weather Prediction Center is calling "one for the history books."
A monster solar flare erupted early Sunday (Oct. 19) from a huge sunspot that may just be getting warmed up.
The sun fired off an X-class solar flare — the most powerful type — that peaked at 1:01 a.m. EDT (5:01 GMT) Sunday. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) spacecraft captured photos and video of the intense sun storm, which researchers classified as an X1.1 flare.
The flare erupted from a sunspot called AR (Active Region) 2192, which has since grown to become 78,000 miles (125,000 kilometers) wide, according to Spaceweather.com — almost as big as the planet Jupiter.