An artist

An artist’s interpretation of a solar flare erupting from the sun. (Image credit: Shutterstock)

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A massive explosion on the far side of the sun recently spat out an X-class flare — one of the most powerful solar flares the sun is capable of producing. The resulting solar storm will narrowly miss Earth, but the sunspot responsible for belching it out could soon be pointed directly at our planet. 

The epic eruption was detected on Jan. 3 by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), an Earth-orbiting spacecraft co-operated by NASA and the European Space Agency. SOHO spotted a bright stream of plasma, known as a coronal mass ejection (CME), that emerged from the sun’s southeastern limb, according to (opens in new tab).

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