This image from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory shows a mid-level solar flare – an M6.5 – that erupted from the sun on April 2, 2014, peaking at 10:05 a.m. EDT. The images shows the flare in a blend of two wavelengths of extreme ultraviolet light: 131 Angstroms and 171 Angstroms, colorized in yellow and red, respectively.
Solar flares are short-lived but powerful bursts of radiation. They are our solar system’s largest explosive events, lasting minutes to hours on the sun’s surface.
Eleanor Imster has helped write and edit EarthSky since 1995. She was an integral part of the award-winning EarthSky radio series almost since it began until it ended in 2013. Today, as Lead Editor at EarthSky.org, she helps present the science and nature stories and photos you enjoy. She also serves as one of the voices of EarthSky on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and G+. She and her husband live in Tennessee and have two grown sons.