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EarthSky // Today's Image Release Date: Mar 30, 2014

X-flare of Saturday, March 29

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.

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the extreme ultraviolet flash of the X-flare that occurred on the sun on March 29, 2014.

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the extreme ultraviolet flash of the X-flare that occurred on the sun on March 29, 2014.

An X-flare – the most powerful kind of solar flare – flashed briefly from the sun yesterday (March 29, 2014). It propelled a coronal mass ejection, or CME, into space, the bulk of the CME is due to pass north of the sun-Earth line. However, a faint Earth-directed component could deliver a glancing blow to our planet’s magnetic field on April 1-2, producing beautiful auroras or northern lights.

Are solar storms dangerous to us?

Will I see the northern lights tonight?

Read about a rare “magnetic crochet” from yesterday’s X-flare at SpaceWeather.com

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