Giant solar flare, satellite image

Giant solar flare, satellite image

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Credit: NASA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Giant solar flare. Satellite image showing the development of a giant solar flare (bright) erupting from the surface of the Sun (centre). The Sun itself is removed from the image and the white circle (centre) shows the approximate size of the Sun's visible disc (photosphere). Classified as an X-28, this is the largest solar flare ever recorded (as of 2012). It is so powerful that the X-ray intensity is beyond the capacity of the telescope's sensors. As a result the X-28 classification is only approximate and later analysis suggested increasing this estimate to X-45. Imaged by the LASCO ( Large Angle and Spectrometric Coronagraph) C3 instrument on the SOHO (Solar and Heliospheric Observatory) spacecraft, on 4th November 2003.

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