A full three years past solar maximum, our star decided to put on quite a show this month. The record-setting sunspot groups have unleashed some of the most powerful solar flares ever recorded, pummeling the earth with massive streams of charged particles. These CMEs (coronal mass ejections) can cause electronic disruptions on earth, and also lead to beautiful aurora displays.

(photo details: C8, 40 mm televue plossl, Nikon Coolpix 4500, October 30 2003, 15:00 UT)

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