http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/323174

Video: NASA scientists capture spectacular solar eruption

Posted Apr 17, 2012 by Anne Sewell
The sun has been active yet again, with another spectacular flare occurring along the sun's eastern limb. Scientists captured it on video.
Solar flare April 17  2012
Solar flare April 17, 2012
Video screen capture
The dazzling solar flare sent an outburst of heated plasma far out into space and occurred on the sun's eastern limb according to NASA scientists and did not point towards earth. A solar flare is an intense burst of radiation which is created by the release of magnetic energy
While the eruption looks huge, it was not actually the strongest solar activity this year.
NASA scientists have categorized the flare as a class M flare, which on the scale of sun storms falls right in the middle.
Earlier in the year the earth was hammered by 2 massive solar storms, sending streams of charged particles towards the planet.
According to NASA the sun is currently in an active phase of its 11-year solar cycle, which is expected to reach peak activity in 2013.
Spectacular viewing indeed.