NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this colorized image of an M4.7 class solar flare last Thursday during a period of increased activity in sunspot AR 1476, a massive area 60,000 miles across. The flare did not release an associated coronal mass ejection, a burst of plasma that, if headed toward Earth, can result in aurorae at the planet's poles. The sunspot has released more than 30 solar flares so far.
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