A close-up, profile view of an active region in extreme ultraviolet light showcased several small spurts of plasma as they flickered out and retreated back into the sun over about 13 hours (June 16, 2011). This wavelength captures ionized helium at about 60,000 degrees not far above the sun's surface. Flashes of small solar flares can be seen triggering most of these spurts.
The sun on June 7, 2011, starting at about 06:41 UT, unleashed one of the most spectacular prominence eruptions ever observed, in fact, one could call it a "prominence explosion".
Coronal mass ejection as viewed by the Solar Dynamics Observatory on June 7, 2011.
The sun unleashed a powerful Class X1.5 solar flare on March 9, 2011, a solar storm that could supercharge Earth's auroras. The flare was recorded by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory and other spacecraft. Here, it appears in white at the upper right of the sun as seen by the Solar Dynamics Observatory.
The SOHO spacecraft watched as a fairly bright comet dove towards the sun in a white streak and was not seen again after its close encounter (May 10-11, 2011). The comet, probably part of the Kreutz family of comets, was discovered by amateur astronomer Sergey Shurpakov.
The STEREO (Ahead) spacecraft caught a large coronal mass ejection as it roared away from the Sun and out into space in the opposite direction from Earth (Feb. 26-28, 2011).
NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this view of a powerful M3.6 Class solar flare on Feb. 24, 2011 during a 90-minute sun storm. NASA scientists called the display a "monster prominence" that kicked up a huge plasma wave.
The image of the powerful Class X2 solar flare of Feb. 14, 2011, shows how it appeared to both the Solar Dynamics Observatory in extreme ultraviolet light (center sun disk) and the SOHO's C2 coronagraph. This was the largest flare in more than four years.
A full-disk multiwavelength extreme ultraviolet image of the sun taken by SDO on March 30, 2010. False colors trace different gas temperatures. Reds are relatively cool (about 60,000 Kelvin, or 107,540 F); blues and greens are hotter.
This image depicts coronal rain. Encircled are two plasma streamers, one hitting the sun's surface and another incoming behind it.
A prominence leaps off the surface of the sun in this new image from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory released on April 22, 2010. The prominence occurred on March 30.
Images from telescopes onboard STEREO spacecraft showing a coronal mass ejection event on December 12-13, 2008. Data from both spacecraft are shown simultaneously.
A close up of the sun in extreme ultraviolet light taken by STEREO's Extreme Ultraviolet Imager (EUVI). Featured are magnetic loops filled with million-degree Celsius material.
A solar tsunami seen by the twin STEREO spacecraft. A movie showing this event helped convince scientists that this phenomenon is real, and not a visual illusion.
The STEREO (Ahead) spacecraft observed this visually stunning prominence eruption on Sept. 29, 2008 in the 304 wavelength of extreme UV light. It rose up and cascaded to the right over several hours, appearing something like a flag unfurling, as it broke
NASA's twin STEREO spacecraft caught this image of a comet impacting the sun. The comet apparently survived the intense heat of the sun's outer atmosphere — called the corona — and disappeared in the chromospheres, which is a thin layer of plasma found be
SDO observed as an active region emerged, expanded and blew out at least four flares over about a 40-hour period (June 11-12, 2010). These flares were about average in terms of their power.
An AIA image in 193 A after a solar eruption and a flare. The dark regions show the site of evacuated material from the eruption, and the large magnetic loops were formed during the flare.
Image of the Sun, taken by the SECCHI Extreme Ultraviolet Imager (EUVI) on the STEREO Ahead observatory on June 18, 2010 at 00:05:30 UT. This image was produced from the STEREO space weather beacon telemetry.
Image of the solar corona, taken by the SECCHI outer coronagraph (COR2) on the STEREO Ahead observatory on June 8, 2010 at 01:09:35 UT. Click to enlarge.
A powerful M9-class solar flare erupted from the sun at 10:09 p.m. EDT on July 29 (0209 GMT July 30).
This still from a NASA video shows an apparent smiley face on the sun as seen by the Solar Dynamics Observatory. The solar happy face is seen in different wavelengths in a video posted on July 25, 2011.
This image from the Solar Dynamics Observatory shows the X6.9 solar flare of Aug. 9, 2011 near the western limb (right edge) of the sun.