September was 🔥 on the Sun! It released 31 sizable solar flares and several coronal mass ejections in just 5 days. We and our partners are always watching the Sun, so we saw these events from several perspectives. Thread 👇
First things first: A solar flare is powerful burst of light radiation, and intense flares can interfere with communications.

A coronal mass ejection (CME) is a cloud of solar material + magnetic fields. They can spark #aurora.
Now for the space pictures! @NOAASatellites' #GOES16 watches the Sun in 6 different wavelengths. These images show an X9.3 solar flare on Sept. 6. (This was the most intense flare of the current solar cycle!)
The Solar Dynamics Observatory watches the Sun in 10 wavelengths on a 12-second cadence, helping scientists track dynamic events on the Sun. Here, it captured two powerful flares on Sept. 6: an X2.2 and the X9.3 also shown above.
We also watch the Sun in X-rays! The @JAXA_en & @NASA Hinode solar observatory caught this video of an X8.2 solar flare on Sept. 10. This is the 2nd-largest flare of the solar cycle.
Next up: coronagraphs! This is an instrument that uses a metal disk to block out the Sun's bright face, letting us see and study the Sun's atmosphere (the corona).

STEREO's coronagraph shows two CMEs on Sept. 9 & 10. The 2nd was once of the fastest CMEs ever recorded!
Another coronagraph, this one on @esa & @NASA's SOHO satellite, saw those Sept. 9 & 10 CMEs, too. The 'snow' seen here is actually high-energy particles flung out ahead of the CME at near-light speeds that struck SOHO’s imager.
Our IRIS mission captured this video on Sept. 10. It shows jets of solar material swimming down toward the Sun’s surface. These structures are sometimes observed in the corona during solar flares, and this particular set was associated with the X8.2 flare of the same day.
The Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE) detected a dip in the total amount of the Sun’s radiant energy during September's intense solar activity, possibly due to the darkening effect of the sunspots associated with this activity.
Finally: The intense solar activity also sparked global aurora on Mars, more than 25 times brighter than any previously seen by NASA’s @MAVEN2Mars!
Thanks for following along! 👋 You can get even more details about these solar activity observations at: go.nasa.gov/2gQwAaf

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