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Largest Solar Flare in 4 yrs, Feb 16 2011

Large Solar Flare and CME As Seen by the Solar Dynamics Observatory This clip of the large X2 flare (Feb. 15, 2011) seen by Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) in extreme ultraviolet light has been enlarged and superimposed on SOHO's C2 coronagraph for the same period. This was the largest flare in over four years. The coronagraph shows the faint edge of a "halo" coronal mass ejection (CME) as it races away from the Sun and was heading towards Earth. Scientists predict that this CME is likely to catch up with ones from the 13th and 14th, and the whole mass of particles should reach Earth late Thursday or early Friday (UT). They may put on an excellent show of aurora. In the coronagraph the Sun is blocked out by an occulting disk so that the fainter features of the corona are visible. By adding in the SDO video clip, we get the best of both worlds. The video covers about 11 hours.
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