Two Solar Flares Say send-off 2013 and Welcome 2014

The suns usher out 2013 and welcome 2014 with two mid-level flares on Dec. 31, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014. Solar flares are great bursts of radiation to the dangerous radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth's atmosphere to actually affect humans on the ground, though when powerful enough they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and relations signals travel. These disrupt the radio signals for as long as the flare is ongoing, everyplace from minutes to hours.

The first flare (below) was classified as an M6.4 and it peaked at 4:58 p.m EST on Dec. 31. The second (above) was categorized as an M9.9 and peaked at 1:52 p.m. EST on Jan. 1. Both flares emerged from the same active region on the sun, AR1936.

Imagery of the flares was captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which keeps a constant watch on the sun, collecting new data every 12 seconds.

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