On October 2, 2014, the sun unleashed a powerful burst of radiation known as a solar flare. The flare erupted on the right side of the sun, emitting a bright flash of light. Along with a sudden release of energy, a cloud of solar material shot up into the sun’s outer atmosphere, the corona. This region of the sun is millions of miles thick and consists of strong magnetic fields that extend far into space. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun 24 hours a day, captured images of the explosions in multiple wavelengths. Views collected by the spacecraft help scientists monitor the sun and predict how changes in its activity will affect our planet. Watch the video to see the explosions up close.
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NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
Video courtesy of NASA/SDO/S. Wiessinger
Images courtesy of NASA/SDO