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Amazing New Sun Photos from Space

The Sun Has a Smile

NASA/SDO/GSFC

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.

Major Solar Flare of August 9, 2011

NASA/SDO/Weather.com

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.

New Year's Eve Solar Flare: M6.4 on 12/31/13

NASA/SDO

An M6.4 class solar flare erupts from the sun in this image from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which was captured on Dec. 31, at 4:59 p.m. EST.

2014 New Year's Day Solar Flare: M9.9 (Full Disk)

NASA/SDO

Several wavelengths of light combine in this full disk version of a New Year's Day solar flare, categorized as an M9.9 and peaking at 1:52 p.m. EST on Jan. 1, 2014.

Large Sunspot: January 2014 Solar Flares

NASA/SDO

The large sunspot near the center of the sun is part of an active region that produced a mid-strength solar flare on Jan. 7, 2014. An outline of the flare can be seen in the overlay. The sunspot group is some seven Earth's across.

X1.2 Solar Flare Full Sun: Jan. 7, 2014

NASA/SDO

This full-sun view combines two images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured on Jan. 7, 2014. Together, the images show the location of a giant sunspot group on the sun, and the position of an X-class flare that erupted at 1:32 p.m. EST.

Setting Sun with Sunspot AR 1944 HDR Filtered by Petricca

Giuseppe Petricca

Giuseppe Petricca sent SPACE.com this HDR filtered photo of the setting sun with sunspot AR 1944 still visible on the horizon. Petricca took this photo on Jan. 7 from Sulmona, Italy using a Nikon P90 bridge camera on a tripod (ISO 64, f/6.3, 1/1200" exposure). Welding glass was used giving the photo a green color.

Close-Up of Solar Flare Seen by Solar Dynamics Observatory on Jan. 30, 2014

NASA/SDO

A solar flare erupts on Jan. 30, 2014, as seen by the bright flash on the left side of the sun, captured here by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory.

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory Sees a Solar Flare and a Lunar Transit

NASA/SDO

A solar flare erupts on Jan. 30, 2014, as seen by the bright flash on the left side of the sun, captured here by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. In the lower right corner the moon can be seen, having just passed between the observatory and the sun.

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