NASA releases a stunning photo of a recent solar flare. Was this release harmful to us on Earth?

About five solar flares have been triggered by the Sun in the past two weeks. Their range was from moderate to strong.

With the help of its Solar Dynamics Observatory, the American space agency NASA managed to take an amazing photo of a solar flare on April 30.

Wondering what a solar flare is? Well, it’s a sudden release of magnetic energy, which can be seen in the upper right part of the image.

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In an Instagram post, NASA said, “The Sun occasionally emits solar flares, although they don’t always impact humans on Earth.”

Since April 19, of the five solar flares, three were strong.

“NASA missions study flares to help us prepare for and better mitigate their impact,” the post added.

Solar flares can also be harmful if directed at Earth.

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Strong eruptions can sometimes impact radio communications, navigation systems, power grids, etc. They can also pose a risk to spacecraft and astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS), the space agency added.

Solar flares belong to different classes. Those of class X are the most powerful storms on the sun. Class A solar flares are the weakest; Class B and C storms are also minor. When directed directly at Earth, more intense and larger M-class storms can supercharge the Aurora Borealis, while the strongest X-class storms can pose a threat to orbiting satellites and astronauts.

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(With agency contributions)

Jack C. Nugent