Jul 4, 2013 9:36 AM by Stephen Bowers
The sun put on a intense display early Wednesday morning.
NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) says an M1.5-class solar flare erupted from the sun's surface at about 1:00 AM Wednesday (Mountain Time). They snapped a picture of it with (the one you see at the top of this article) using the SDO/AIA 131 Angstrom camera.
M-class flares are considered medium sized, between larger X-class flares and smaller C-class flares, and are capable brief radio blackouts in Earth's polar regions.
This is the second solar eruption reported by SDO this week, the first occurred on Monday.
The sun spot cycle, which covers an 11 year span, peaked earlier this year, but scientists with NASA say a secondary peak is possible later this year. Increased sun spots and solar flares are often noted with the sun spot peak.
Space weather forecasters with NOAA say there is a 60% probability of minor geomagnetic storms on July 5th when the Coronal Mass Ejection (the part of the solar flare that escapes the sun) sweeps past Earth. People in high latitudes, mainly in Canada, could even see auroras on July 5-6.