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Photos: Huge Solar Flare Eruptions of 2012

Big Flare From Sunspot 1426: March 5, 2012

NASA/SDO/AIA

This image from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory shows the sun as it appeared in extreme ultraviolet wavelengths on March 5, 2012 just after a major solar flare.

Sunspot 1429 Close Up

NASA/SDO/HMI

This view of the sun taken by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory shows the active sunspot region 1429 as it appeared at 11:30 p.m. ET on March 5, 2012 to the spacecraft's Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager. The region unleashed a major X-class flare just one minute before this view was taken.

Coronal Mass Ejections from X-Class Solar Flares - March 6, 2012

NASA/STEREO

A wave of solar plasma and charged particles, called a coronal mass ejection, were triggered by the strong X-class flares on March 6, 2012. This image, from NASA's sun-watching Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (or Stereo) spacecraft also shows a possible second coronal mass ejection.

X-Class Solar Flare - March 6, 2012 X-Class Solar Flare - March 6, 2012

NASA/SDO

A massive X-class solar flare spewed from the sun on March 6, 2012. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory observed the eruption, which looks like a sparkling diamond in this picture. [Read more about the X-class flares]

Huge X5.4-class Solar Flare

NASA/SDO

The sun unleashed two massive X-class solar flares on March 6, 2012. The flare erupted from the giant active sunspot AR1429.

Active Sunspot Region 1429

NASA/SDO

The massive sunspot region AR1429 has been particularly active since it emerged on March 2, 2012.

X-Class Solar Flare Seen by SDO - March 6, 2012

NASA/SDO

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory caught the huge X-class solar flare erupting from the surface of the sun on March 6, 2012.

Sun Unleashes X5.4-Class Solar Flare

NASA/SDO

This image from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory shows the sun as it unleashed an X5.4-class solar flare at 7:04 p.m. EST on March 6, 2012 (0002 March 7 GMT). The flare appears as the bright spot in the upper left.

X1 Solar Flare

SDO

X1 Solar Flare of March 5, 2012

Sun Unleashes X1.1 Solar Flare: March 4, 2012

NASA/SDO

This still from a NASA video shows the sun as it unleashed a major solar flare overnight on March 4 and 5, 2012. The solar storm was an X1.1-class flare, the strongest type of solar eruption, and ejected a huge cloud of plasma into space.

X1-class Solar Flare - March 2012

SOHO

The Solar Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) caught the extreme ultraviolet flash of an X1-class solar flare at 11:13 p.m. EST (0413 GMT March 5).

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