Solar flare, Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) ultraviolet image. The flare (upper right) is erupting from a sunspot. This is an X1.8-class solar flare, erupting from sunspot 1402. The flare began at 13:12 ET (18:12 UTC) on 27 January 2012 and peaked 25 minutes later. The flare caused a strong radio blackout. The accompanying coronal mass ejection (CME) was tracked by NASA's Goddard Space Weather Center. The SDO is an Earth-orbiting spacecraft launched in 2010 by NASA and used to observe the Sun. Here, the Sun and its atmosphere (not seen in visible light) is seen at a wavelength of 171 angstroms (extreme ultraviolet).
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