This 2006 Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) Extreme ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (EIT) image shows a flare on the Sun. An unusual solar flare observed by a NASA space observatory on Tuesday could cause some disruptions to satellites, communications and power on Earth over the next day or so, officials said. An eruption of similar magnitude has not been witnessed since 2006.
IN SPACE - JUNE 7: In this handout from NASA/Solar Dynamics Observatory, a solar large flare erupts off the sun June 7, 2011 in space. A large cloud of particles flew up and then was pulled back down to the sun's surface. According to NASA, the event is not suppose have any effect once the particles reach the earth on either June 8 or June 9. (Photo by NASA/Solar Dynamics Observatory via Getty Images).
A NASA image of an erupting solar flare. A geomagnetic space storm sparked by a solar eruption like the one that flared toward Earth Tuesday is bound to strike again and could wreak havoc
NASA image shows a solar flare that leapt from the Sun in 2000. A wave of charged plasma particles from a huge solar eruption has glanced off the Earth's northern pole, lighting up auroras and disrupting some radio communications, a NASA scientist said
IN SPACE - FEBRUARY: In this handout image provided by NASA / SDO, a pair of active regions on the Sun were captured in extreme ultraviolet light from the Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDO) spacecraft over a three-day period between February 7 to 10, 2011. The magnetic field lines above the regions produced fluttering arcs waving above them as well as a couple of flares. Another pair of smaller active regions emerges and trails behind the larger ones. (Photo by NASA/Solar Dynamics Observatory via Getty Images)
A large X-class flare erupts from an active region near the solar west limb in this NASA handout image dated January 27, 2012. This image, captured by the X-ray telescope on the Hinode telescope, shows an emission from plasma heated to greater than eight million degrees during the energy release process of the flare. X-class flares are the most powerful of all solar events. NASA/JAXA/Hinode/Handout (SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY ENVIRONMENT) FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
The Solar Dynamics Observatory captures an M8.7 class flare in a handout photo released by NASA
IN SPACE - JANUARY 23: In this handout from the NOAA/National Weather Service's Space Weather Prediction Center, shows a solar flare erupting from the sun late January 23, 2012. The flare is reportedly the largest since 2005 and is expected to affect GPS systems and other communications when it reaches the Earth's magnetic field in the morning of January 24. (Photo by NOAA/National Weather Service's Space Weather Prediction Center via Getty Images)
The sun erupts with one of the largest solar flares of this solar cycle in this multi-colored NASA handout photo taken on March 6, 2012. This flare was categorized as an X5.4, making it the second largest flare -- after an X6.9 on August 9, 2011 -- since the sun's activity segued into a period of relatively low activity called solar minimum in early 2007. The current increase in the number of X-class flares is part of the sun's normal 11-year solar cycle, during which activity on the sun ramps up to solar maximum, which is expected to peak in late 2013. REUTERS/NASA/SD0/AIA/Handout
A NASA color-coded image combines observations made by the Solar Dynamics Observatory in several extreme ultraviolet wavelengths, highlighting a bright X-class flare towards the upper left of the sun's disk on March 6.
The sun erupts with one of the largest solar flares of this solar cycle in this NASA handout photo taken on March 6, 2012. This flare was categorized as an X5.4, making it the second largest flare -- after an X6.9 on August 9, 2011 -- since the sun's activity segued into a
Iimage provided by NASA in January 2012, captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), shows an M9-class solar flare. A pair of steamy explosions on the Sun's surface in recent days is sparking the biggest radiation and geomagnetic storm the Earth has experienced in five years, space weather experts said Wednesday
IN SPACE - MARCH 6: In this handout from NASA/Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), a X5.4 solar flare, the largest in five years, erupts from the sun's surface March 6, 2012. According to reports, particles from the flare are suppose to reach earth early March 7, possibly disrupting technology such as GPS system, satellite networks and airline flights. (Photo by NASA/Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) via Getty Images)