NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured an image of a mid-level solar flare that pealed at 4:16 EDT this morning. It comes from the sunspot group that’s been flaring up since it was spotted.

Today’s flare was classified as an M7.9, M-classes being one tenth the size of X-class flares, the most intense. Luckily, (or unluckily, if you love seeing pictures of intense auroras) this flare won’t have nearly the effect of the G4 geomagnetic storm of earlier this week. The Space Weather Prediction Center says that the flare will hit Earth Saturday around 1PM EDT, with an G2 electromagnetic storm — the second weakest of the five levels of severity. The advisory for the storm starts on the 27th and lasts into the 28th.

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Here’s another set of images of the flare, taken 45 minutes apart, showing the ejection traveling 2.5 miles in that short period of time.


Top image: NASA/SDO; Second image: NASA/ESA SOHO/LASCO

Contact the author at katharine@io9.com.

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