Washington: NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory has recently captured a mid-level solar flare on Dec 16, 2014, it has been reported.
This flare was classified as an M8.7-class flare. M-class flares are a tenth the size of the most intense flares, the X-class flares. The number provides more information about its strength. An M2 would be twice as intense as an M1; an M3 was three times as intense, etc.
Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth's atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground; however, when intense enough, they could disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel.