Spectacular explosions on the surface of the sun

A coronal mass ejection (CME) of energy from the sun; normally accompanied by a solar flare. Credit: 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 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:

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. 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.