On Sunday, a solar flare caused a portion of the plasma in the Sun's atmosphere to break off and fly out into space at a speed of about 5 million miles an hour. Seen here is the coronal mass ejection (CME) ejection of the plasma cloud breaking off from the sun. An "X-ray flare" caused the brightening after the CME, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
A solar storm reaches Earth (images)
by CNET News.com | January 24, 2012, 9:00am PST | Image 1 of 6