Large Sunspot produces an X-flare

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).   Image © NASA/SDO

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.

source NASA/SDO

Solar Dynamics Observatory/NASA