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Flashes of Energy Emerge from Hot Spot On the Sun November 12, 2010
This time-lapse of the sun on November 5, 2010, shows the solar hot spot producing bursts of energy.
One of the most intense bursts of energy from the sun in years sent a blast of X-rays from a hot spot on the solar surface that may produce even more solar storms this month.

Since the eruption occurred as the hot spot was at the far edge of the sun as seen from Earth, the highly charged particles were not aimed toward the planet.

But solar experts say that as the sun rotates, the active region will move toward the sun’s center.

That orientation could create a geomagnetic storm on Earth if additional solar flares occur during that configuration.

Such storms could cause brilliant displays of the northern and southern lights, and affect some telecommunications on Earth.

The sun remained nearly free of such activity for almost two years before beginning an upswing in its 11-year cycle of sunspot activity late last year.

Solar Time-Lapse: NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory