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Stunning Photos of Solar Flares & Sun Storms

Sunspot 1158 Solar Flare

NASA/SDO

On Feb. 13th at 1738 UT, sunspot 1158 unleashed the strongest solar flare of the year so far, an M6.6-category X-ray irradiance magnitude blast. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded an intense flash of extreme ultraviolet radiation. The source of this activity, sunspot 1158 is growing rapidly.

Sun Whips Out Massive Flare

NASA

The sun whips out a massive flare.

Solar Flare SDO Photo

NASA/SDO/AIA

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory snapped this multi-wavelength extreme ultraviolet image of the sun, showing the Aug. 1, 2010, solar eruption that blasted charged particles toward Earth. The Class C3 solar flare triggered stunning aurora displays and geomagnetic storms on Earth that lasted about 12 hours.

Sunspot Group

Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

This large field-of-view image of sunspots in Active Region 10030 was observed on July 15, 2002. Researchers colored the image yellow for aesthetic reasons.

Spicules: Jets on the Sun

K. Reardon/IBIS

A spicule is like a pipe as wide as a state and as long as the Earth, filled with hot gas moving 50,000 kilometers per hour. The "pipe" is not made of metal, rather a transparent magnetic field. Thousands of young spicules form on the active Sun. This image is one of the highest resolution taken of these enigmatic solar flux tubes. What determines the creation and dynamics of spicules remains a topic of active research.

Sun's Magnetic Loops on Bastille Day

NASA/TRACE

One million degree hot solar plasma travels along magnetic loops in the sun's atmosphere during the Bastille Day solar storm of 2000.

New Space Telescope to Watch the Sun

NASA/SVS

This illustration shows convoluted magnetic field lines extending out all over the sun.

Huge Sun Eruption

SDO/NASA

This huge tendril of magnetic plasma erupted from the sun on Dec. 6, 2010. In this photo from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, the filament stretches across nearly 700,000 km of the sun's surface.

Solar Flare Hits Earth and Mars

NASA

A close-up of a solar flare taken with the Transition Region and Coronal Explorer (TRACE) spacecraft in September 2005.

Twisted Solution to Sun's Mystery Heat

JAXA/NASA/SAO

Taken with Hinode’s X-ray telescope, this image shows details of magnetic field structures along an active region of the Sun.

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