Sunspot Has Produced M-Class Flares, But No CMEs

The sun unleashed an M4.7 class flare at 8:32 EDT on May 9, 2012 as captured here by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. The flare was over quickly and there was no coronal mass ejection associated with it. This image is shown in the 131 Angstrom wavelength, a wavelength that is typically colorized in teal and that provided the most detailed picture of this particular flare. Credit: NASA/SDO

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A particularly large and complex sunspot appeared over the left limb of the sun on Saturday, May 5, beginning its two-week trek across the face of the star in conjunction with the sun's rotation. The sunspot, dubbed Active Region 1476, has so far produced seven M-class flares and numerous C-class flares, including two M-class flares on May 9, 2012 that peaked at 8:32 EDT and 10:08 EDT. These flares were all short-lived and there were no associated coronal mass ejections, so we do not expect any geomagnetic storms at Earth.

The upper left corner of this image of the sun, shows the biggest and most complex sun spot visible on the sun as of May 9, 2012. It has produced 7 M-class flares so far, but has not produced any coronal mass ejections that could cause geomagnetic storms near Earth. Credit: NASA/SDO

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