Astronomers at NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory have recently captured images of the first significant X-class solar flare (powerful bursts of radiation) of the year on March 11, 2015.
Harmful radiation from a solar flare cannot pass through Earth's atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground. However, when intense enough, it can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel.
This solar flare was classified as an X2.2-class flare. X-class denotes the most intense flares, while the number gives more information about its strength.