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A solar filament that had been lurking atop the sun for a week finally exploded this month, the latest in a string of large solar explosions that NASA scientists say will peak in 2013. This explosion, seen below, released high-energy plasma into the solar system, but did not create auroras on Earth because it dispersed before reaching our atmosphere.
NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured the image sequence, which shows the filament exploding. In August, NASA scientists observed a 28-hour period of shock waves, solar flare explosions and solar "tsunamis" that rocked the sun. They've named the event "The Great Eruption."