Moderate Labor Day solar flare eruption

Sep 07, 2011 By Karen C. Fox
Moderate Labor Day solar flare eruption
The flare is seen here near the center of this image from SDO's Atmospheric Imaging Assembly instrument. The graph at the bottom represents GOES data showing the increase in x-ray emission as the flare erupted. Credit: NASA/SDO/LMSAL/GOES

At 9:35 PM ET on September 5, 2011, the sun emitted an Earth-directed M5.3 class flare as measured by the GOES satellite. The flare erupted from a region of the sun that appears close to dead center from Earth's perspective, an active region designated number 1283. The flare caused a slight increase of solar energetic protons some 26,000 miles above Earth's surface.

A (CME) -- another solar phenomenon that can send into space -- was associated with this flare. The CME is a relatively slow one, traveling at under 200 miles per second.

Further updates on the event will be provided as they become available.

Explore further: NASA engineer advances new daytime star tracker

More information: What is a solar flare? What is a coronal mass ejection?

For answers to these and other space weather questions, please visit the Spaceweather Frequently Asked Questions page.

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