Visions of an Erupting Sun

A Solar Dynamics Observatory video of the recent flare is a deceptively-tranquil vision of colossal energy eruption. A massive X1.4 flare is part of the highest intensity of flares releasing huge amounts of energy, yet the filaments are weirdly soothing.

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X1.4 flare in 131, 304, and 171 angstrom wavelengths. Image Credit: NASA/SDO/Goddard Space Flight Center

The X1.4 flare is part of the highest-intensity X-category of flares, but at the low end of a spectrum that logarithmically increases to X9 flares. That's still a huge amount of energy erupting from the sun, easily seen as the bright spot in this video from the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) data:

Video of the flare that peaked at 8:27 pm EDT on April 24 in 304 angstrom light. Credit: NASA/SDO/Goddard

The flare produced a minor Space Weather Warning citing the potential for aurora at high latitudes (Canada, Alaska), a radio burst that could briefly disrupt sensitive communication, maybe some weak power grid fluctuations.

Did you hear about the best-observed solar flare ever that occurred in March? Such an overload of beautiful, delicious data!