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Big solar storm on January 23, 2012 seen by NASA's SOHO

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Uploaded on Jan 24, 2012

On January 23, 2012 at about 04:00 UTC, the Sun unleashed a powerful flare and coronal mass ejection - huge explosions that drive hundreds of millions of tons of subatomic particles at fantastic speeds. The first wave of particles reached Earth in minutes, slamming into the instruments on board NASA's SOHO Sun-observing satellite.

Most CMEs are aimed off to the side, but the expanding halo of light is a sure sign it was headed right for us... and the proof is the big blast of particle hits to the detector.

We are in no real danger from this event, but it will most likely spark aurorae all over the northern and southern latitudes of Earth.

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