Spectacular explosions on the surface of the sun

The solar flare eruption; a sudden release of magnetic energy.
A coronal mass ejection (CME) of energy from the sun; normally accompanied by a solar flare. Photo: NASA Goddard

The sun erupted in an amazing solar flare yesterday, unleasing an eruption of magnetic energy that blasted out into space.

The sun storm was captured by NASA's Solar Dynamic Observatory which studies the impact of the sun on the earth.

The flare was accompanied by a 'coronal mass ejection' (CME) - a massive burst of solar wind that blows huge quantities of electromagnetic radiation into space.

The solar flare is still in progress.
The solar flare is still in progress, according to NASA. Credit: NASA Goddard

The solar flare began yesterday afternoon, and is still in progress. NASA captured the flare from their satellite.

The series of flares took place on the left side of the sun. NASA's Solar Dynamic Observatory described the CME:

A beautiful prominence eruption shot of the east limb of the sun. Such eruptions are often associated with solar flares, and in this case an M1 class (medium-sized) flare did occur at the same time, though it was not aimed toward Earth. This event, which is still in progress, was seen by NASA’s SDO satellite.

– NASA

When aimed at Earth, strong solar flares can supercharge the planet's auroras, or northern and southern lights.

The solar flare took place on the 'east limb' or left side of the sun.
The solar flare took place on the 'east limb' or left side of the sun. Credit: NASA

Extremely powerful solar flares can pose a danger to astronauts and satellites in space and can even disrupt power grids and communications systems on earth.