Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 9:13 EDT
Large Sunspot Produces an X-flare
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Large Sunspot Produces an X-flare

January 17, 2014
The largest sunspot group of the solar cycle unleashed a large (X1.2 class) flare just when it was facing right towards Earth (Jan. 7, 2014). The flare was associated with a coronal mass ejection that was heading in our direction and could generate some bright aurora here when it impacts our magnetosphere. More flares are expected from this magnetically complex region in the next week or so: stay tuned! These images were produced using a combination of two wavelengths of extreme ultraviolet light. The video covers about 9 hours of activity. Credit: Solar Dynamics Observatory/NASA.