Solar Dynamics Observatory/NASA News
An active region blew out a flare (bright flash) and a dark rush of plasma spewing above the Sun (Apr. 4, 2104). Then the semi-transparent plasma seemed to turn and shift in flat planes. Some of the particles went roaring into space, while at least some of them were seen falling back into the Sun.
Almost an X Class Flare. The Sun unleashed a M-9.3 flare, just short of an X class (the largest) from an active region right at the Sun’s edge (Mar. 12-13, 2014). The bright flash is the tell tale sign of a flare. The brightness of the flare causes very bright saturation and ‘blooming’ above and below the flare region on the CCD detector and caused extended diffraction patterns to spread out across the SDO imager. This flare was preceded hours earlier by a smaller flare as well. The image shows the peak of the flare at 22:38 UT on Mar. 12. Images were taken in extreme ultraviolet light, showing ionized iron at 10 million degrees.
Lots of Loops. A large group of active regions on the Sun presented us with the chance to show many different magnetic loops over them in just over two-day period (Mar. 4-6, 2014). The loops are made visible to us in extreme ultraviolet light because of charged particles spiraling along the field lines. The occasional lurches in imaging were produced when the Earth came between our spacecraft and the Sun and upset our pointing. Those passages, which lasted about an hour each time, were deleted. Credit: Solar Dynamics Observatory/NASA.
X4 Flare was no Shrimp. An active region at the edge of the Sun blew out an X4 flare (one of the largest of the solar cycle) and a coronal mass ejection on Feb. 25, 2014. The still image of the ejected plasma (taken at 00:45 UT) shows it curled like a shrimp, but this eruption was no shrimp: it was powerful. The images here combine two wavelengths of extreme ultraviolet light (171 and 304 Angstroms).
Info and images credit: Solar Dynamics Observatory/NASA.