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Amazing x-flare and active sunspot closeups released by NASA

On March 29, 2014 the sun released an X-class flare. It was observed by NASA’s Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, or IRIS; NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO; NASA’s Reuven Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager, or RHESSI; the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Hinode; and the National Solar Observatory’s Dunn Solar Telescope located at Sacramento Peak in New Mexico.

To have a record of such an intense flare from so many observatories is unprecedented. Such research can help scientists better understand what catalyst sets off these large explosions on the sun. Perhaps we may even some day be able to predict their onset and forewarn of the radio blackouts solar flares can cause near Earth – blackouts that can interfere with airplane, ship and military communications.

A new NASA video from a spacecraft watching the sun has captured spectacular views of solar flares erupting from the star this week just ahead of Halloween.

The video, taken by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Orbiter, shows mesmerizing close-up views of solar flares blasting off the sun between Monday and Thursday (Oct. 25-28), ending with a major X1-class solar storm that could amplify Earth’s northern lights displays over Halloween weekend.

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