The Sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, beginning at 11:57 pm EST on February 3, 2014, and peaking at midnight EST. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured images of the flare which NASA released. This flare is classified as an M5.2 flare.
Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth's atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground, however -- when intense enough -- they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel.
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