The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, which reached its peak at 8:13 p.m. EDT on Oct. 1, 2015, said NASA.
NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun constantly, captured an image of the event and the solar flares were seen as powerful bursts of radiation.
Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth’s atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground, but when they are intense enough, they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel in the outer space. It means our communication, especially mobile phones, may get affected.
The flare on October 1 was classified as an M5.5 class flare. M-class flares are a tenth the size of the most intense flares, the X-class flares. The number provides more information about its strength. An M2 is twice as intense as an M1, an M3 is three times as intense, said NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center, the U.S. government’s official source for space weather forecasts, alerts, watches and warnings.