Dr. Zowie writes "This morning a very large solar flare erupted from a large sunspot group that is crossing the face of the Sun. The explosion sent over 2 billion tons of material hurtling across the solar system toward Earth. Movies from the SOHO spacecraft show the flare in UV and the associated coronal mass ejection in visible light as they happened, and the impact of high energy protons that the flare launched at about half the speed of light. NOAA's Space Environment Center shows that the Sun's X-ray brightness went up 100x during the flare. Expect more aurora and geomagnetic effects in the next day or two!"