Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Cosmos reminds us, yet again, how poetically beautiful the space is. A NASA video now reaffirms this notion. In the video, the space agency was able to capture a mid-level solar flare.
Solar flares are a feature of the solar surface. They are visible as huge bursts of brightness on the surface of the Sun and are huge in magnitude. Based on the intensity, the weakest flare is called an M1 while a mid-level solar flare is called an M-class flare.
The flare captured in this NASA video is of an intensity of 6.5 and is categorized as a mid-level flare. Typically, solar flares are nothing to worry about because they are removed from our planet and any emissions from them does not break through Earth’s outer atmosphere.
However, a flare can possibly cause a problem in that it can impact the GPS and satellite communications. It doesn’t physically impact the hardware and rather, deteriorates the signal transmission. Describing the captured flare, NASA says that it is ‘a blend of two wavelengths of extreme ultraviolet light: 131 Angstroms and 171 Angstroms.’
The video goes on for 70 seconds, which means that you get to have a good, long peek at it. NASA shows the phenomenon in multiple visibility layers, letting the viewers truly appreciate its uniqueness compared to the regular surface of the Sun.