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Pictures | Wed May 31, 2017 | 3:26pm BST

Surface of the sun

A long filament of solar material that had been hovering in the Sun's atmosphere, the corona, erupts out into space. 

REUTERS/NASA/GSFC/SDO

A long filament of solar material that had been hovering in the Sun's atmosphere, the corona, erupts out into space. REUTERS/NASA/GSFC/SDO

A long filament of solar material that had been hovering in the Sun's atmosphere, the corona, erupts out into space. REUTERS/NASA/GSFC/SDO
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Active regions on the sun combine to look something like a jack-o-lantern's face. 

REUTERS/NASA

Active regions on the sun combine to look something like a jack-o-lantern's face. REUTERS/NASA

Active regions on the sun combine to look something like a jack-o-lantern's face. REUTERS/NASA
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A massive solar eruption, more than 30 times the length of Earth's diameter, blasts away from the Sun.


REUTERS/NASA

A massive solar eruption, more than 30 times the length of Earth's diameter, blasts away from the Sun. REUTERS/NASA

A massive solar eruption, more than 30 times the length of Earth's diameter, blasts away from the Sun. REUTERS/NASA
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A solar flare bursts off the left limb of the sun. This is classified as an X2.2 flare, shown in a blend of two wavelengths of light: 171 and 131 angstroms, colorized in gold and red, respectively. 

REUTERS/NASA/SDO/Goddard/Wiessinger

A solar flare bursts off the left limb of the sun. This is classified as an X2.2 flare, shown in a blend of two wavelengths of light: 171 and 131 angstroms, colorized in gold and red, respectively. REUTERS/NASA/SDO/Goddard/Wiessinger

A solar flare bursts off the left limb of the sun. This is classified as an X2.2 flare, shown in a blend of two wavelengths of light: 171 and 131 angstroms, colorized in gold and red, respectively. REUTERS/NASA/SDO/Goddard/Wiessinger
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The sun emitting a significant solar flare, classified as an X1.8-class flare. X-class denotes the most intense flares, while the number provides more information about its strength. An X2 is twice as intense as an X1, an X3 is three times. 

REUTERS/NASA

The sun emitting a significant solar flare, classified as an X1.8-class flare. X-class denotes the most intense flares, while the number provides more information about its strength. An X2 is twice as intense as an X1, an X3 is three times....more

The sun emitting a significant solar flare, classified as an X1.8-class flare. X-class denotes the most intense flares, while the number provides more information about its strength. An X2 is twice as intense as an X1, an X3 is three times. REUTERS/NASA
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The Sun erupts with two prominent eruptions, one after the other over a four-hour period. 

REUTERS/NASA/SDO/Steele Hill

The Sun erupts with two prominent eruptions, one after the other over a four-hour period. REUTERS/NASA/SDO/Steele Hill

The Sun erupts with two prominent eruptions, one after the other over a four-hour period. REUTERS/NASA/SDO/Steele Hill
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Giant fountains of fast-moving, multimillion-degree gas in the outermost atmosphere of the Sun. The gas fountains emanating from the surface form arches (some more than 300,000 miles high) and are heated and rise while flowing along the solar magnetic field. The gas then cools and crashes back to the surface at more than 60 miles per second. This image is a false color picture of ultraviolet light emitted by the hot gas that comprises the coronal loops.


REUTERS/NASA

Giant fountains of fast-moving, multimillion-degree gas in the outermost atmosphere of the Sun. The gas fountains emanating from the surface form arches (some more than 300,000 miles high) and are heated and rise while flowing along the solar...more

Giant fountains of fast-moving, multimillion-degree gas in the outermost atmosphere of the Sun. The gas fountains emanating from the surface form arches (some more than 300,000 miles high) and are heated and rise while flowing along the solar magnetic field. The gas then cools and crashes back to the surface at more than 60 miles per second. This image is a false color picture of ultraviolet light emitted by the hot gas that comprises the coronal loops. REUTERS/NASA
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A large eruption from the sun. 


REUTERS/NASA

A large eruption from the sun. REUTERS/NASA

A large eruption from the sun. REUTERS/NASA
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Magnetic filament of solar material erupting as a 200,000-mile-long filament rips through the sun's atmosphere, the corona, leaving behind what looks like a canyon of fire. The glowing canyon traces the channel where magnetic fields held the filament aloft before the explosion. In reality, the sun is not made of fire, but of something called plasma: particles so hot that their electrons have boiled off, creating a charged gas that is interwoven with magnetic fields. 

REUTERS/NASA/Solar Dynamics Observatory

Magnetic filament of solar material erupting as a 200,000-mile-long filament rips through the sun's atmosphere, the corona, leaving behind what looks like a canyon of fire. The glowing canyon traces the channel where magnetic fields held the filament...more

Magnetic filament of solar material erupting as a 200,000-mile-long filament rips through the sun's atmosphere, the corona, leaving behind what looks like a canyon of fire. The glowing canyon traces the channel where magnetic fields held the filament aloft before the explosion. In reality, the sun is not made of fire, but of something called plasma: particles so hot that their electrons have boiled off, creating a charged gas that is interwoven with magnetic fields. REUTERS/NASA/Solar Dynamics Observatory
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A Coronal Mass Ejection unleashing an M-2 (medium-sized) solar flare, an S1-class (minor) radiation storm and a spectacular coronal mass ejection (CME) from sunspot complex 1226-1227. 


REUTERS/NASA/SDO

A Coronal Mass Ejection unleashing an M-2 (medium-sized) solar flare, an S1-class (minor) radiation storm and a spectacular coronal mass ejection (CME) from sunspot complex 1226-1227. REUTERS/NASA/SDO

A Coronal Mass Ejection unleashing an M-2 (medium-sized) solar flare, an S1-class (minor) radiation storm and a spectacular coronal mass ejection (CME) from sunspot complex 1226-1227. REUTERS/NASA/SDO
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An active region on the sun emitting a mid-level solar flare. 


REUTERS/NASA/SDO

An active region on the sun emitting a mid-level solar flare. REUTERS/NASA/SDO

An active region on the sun emitting a mid-level solar flare. REUTERS/NASA/SDO
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The sun is pictured shortly before releasing an X-class flare. This image combines two sets of observations of the sun - light in the 171 Angstrom wavelength, which shows off giant loops of solar material overlying the middle of the sun over the region where the flare originated and a magnetogram, which highlights magnetic fields on the sun. 

REUTERS/NASA

The sun is pictured shortly before releasing an X-class flare. This image combines two sets of observations of the sun - light in the 171 Angstrom wavelength, which shows off giant loops of solar material overlying the middle of the sun over the...more

The sun is pictured shortly before releasing an X-class flare. This image combines two sets of observations of the sun - light in the 171 Angstrom wavelength, which shows off giant loops of solar material overlying the middle of the sun over the region where the flare originated and a magnetogram, which highlights magnetic fields on the sun. REUTERS/NASA
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The sun as seen from NASA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory spacecraft.


REUTERS/NASA

The sun as seen from NASA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory spacecraft. REUTERS/NASA

The sun as seen from NASA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory spacecraft. REUTERS/NASA
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The sun emitting a mid-level solar flare, an M7.9-class. 


REUTERS/NASA

The sun emitting a mid-level solar flare, an M7.9-class. REUTERS/NASA

The sun emitting a mid-level solar flare, an M7.9-class. REUTERS/NASA
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The moon moves between NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory and the sun, giving the observatory a view of a partial solar eclipse from space. Such a lunar transit happens two to three times each year. 


REUTERS/NASA/SDO

The moon moves between NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory and the sun, giving the observatory a view of a partial solar eclipse from space. Such a lunar transit happens two to three times each year. REUTERS/NASA/SDO

The moon moves between NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory and the sun, giving the observatory a view of a partial solar eclipse from space. Such a lunar transit happens two to three times each year. REUTERS/NASA/SDO
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