The flare, which peaked at 8.02am EDT on September 6, caused a radio blackout following the “shock arrival” of radiation from the sun.
“Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth's atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground, however – when intense enough – they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel,” the space agency said in a statement.
The strong geomagnetic storm warning issued by NASA is, as of September 7, still in effect and will continue to be over the next few days – this is in anticipation of the arrival of the coronal mass ejection (CME) associated with the flare.
CMEs and solar flares are different phenomena but often occur at the same time when it comes to the strongest solar flares.
Both are created when the sun’s interior contorts its own magnetic fields – as the magnetic field snaps like a rubber band it releases a huge amount of energy into space.
The flash of light and high energy particles released is the solar flare, while the solar matter from the magnetic contortions are CMEs.