The Sun unleashed a good-sized (M9 class) flare from an active region facing Earth (Oct. 24, 2013). The flare burst with several characteristic flashes before erupting in a small cascade of coils as the magnetic field in that area regrouped itself. The video, in extreme ultraviolet light, covers about 2.5 hours. The still was taken about 00:30 UT. The elongated, white effect you see is not a flare covering a large part of the Sun: it's an instrumental effect on the chip, only a couple of millimeters in size. Another nearby active region to the upper right spit out a few smaller flares just before the main event left of center. There does not seem to be a substantial coronal mass ejection associated with this event. Credit: NASA/Solar Dynamics Observatory.
Search Tag(s): 193, active regions, flares