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Major X-Class Solar Flares Unleashed by Sun (Photos)

Video Still of X1.7-Class Solar Flare of May 13, 2013

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

A video still shows the X1.7-class solar flare of May 13, 2013.

May 13, 2013 Coronal Mass Ejection

ESA&NASA/SOHO

SOHO LASCO C2 image of the May 13, 2013 associated coronal mass ejection. [Read to full story.]

X1.7-Class Solar Flare on May 13, 2013

Camilla_SDO (via Twitter)

An X1.7-class solar flare erupted from the sun on May 12, 2013. Here, the Solar Dynamics Laboratory has captured it on May 13. [Read to full story.]

Sun Unleashes X1.7-Class Solar Flare: 5/12/13

NASA/SDO

This image from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory shows a colossal X1.7-class solar flare erupting from the sun at 10:17 p.m. EDT on May 12, 2013 (Mother's Day). It is the strongest solar flare of 2013 so far. [Read to full story.]

X1.7-Solar Flare of May 12, 2013: Full Disk

NASA/SDO/AIA

The sun erupted with an X1.7-class solar flare on May 12, 2013. The flare appears as the bright point on the left of the sun in this full disk view NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. It is a blend of two images of the sun recorded at different wavelengths of light. [Read to full story.]

X1.7-Class Solar Flare

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

On May 12, 2013, an X1.7-class solar flare erupted on sun. Here it is seen on the sun's limb on May 13.

SDO Plot of X1.7-Class Solar Flare May 11-13, 2013

SDO/AIA

This plot by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) shows solar activity May 11-13, 2013, when an X1.7-class solar flare erupted from the sun.

Massive Solar Flares Wreak Havoc Above Earth (Infographic)

Karl Tate, SPACE.com Contributor

X-class flares top the scale with the most energy and potential to disrupt communications on Earth. See how solar flares stack up in this Solar Flare Infographic.

Anatomy of Sun Storms & Solar Flares (Infographic)

Karl Tate/SPACE.com

Solar flares and massive plasma eruptions are just some ways our nearest star the sun can affect life on Earth. See how solar storms work in this infographic.

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory

NASA/Goddard

An artist's view of NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory in orbit.

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