Other Space News

Large Solar Flare from the Sun on September 10th

9-10-14 solar flare
An X1.6 class solar flare flashes in the middle of the sun on Sept. 10, 2014. This image was captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory and shows light in the 131 Angstrom wavelength, which is typically colorized in teal. Image Credit: NASA/SDO

Have you ever flown a Challenger Learning Center mission and you were on the Space Weather team?

This is exactly the kind of thing you were looking for while flying your mission. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory took images of an X class solar flare on September 10th. A solar flare is when the sun releases a large amount of solar radiation. Typically if that solar radiation is heading towards Earth it will be stopped by the atmosphere around our planet before it directly effects us. Sometimes though a significant solar flare can effect things important to humans like satellites and our electrical grids.

If you were in a Challenger Learning Center mission your job was to watch out for these solar flares and Coronal Mass Ejections (CME’s) and warn the spacecraft. The reason for this is Solar Flares and CME’s are dangerous for space travel because a spacecraft does not have the luxury of having an atmosphere like our planets and so they are more vulnerable to the radiation.

If you would like to learn more about space weather information or check to see if a solar flare will effect the earth you can go to http://spaceweather.gov .

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