Goodness gracious, great balls of fire...
This week's unusual and extreme activity on the surface of the Sun is shown in this stunning image from the ESA/NASA SOHO spacecraft.
SOHO is part of the first Cornerstone project in ESA's Science programme (the other is Cluster). Both are joint ESA/NASA projects in which ESA is the senior partner.
This map of our Sun's corona was recorded by the Extreme-ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (EIT) instrument on the SOHO spacecraft. The picture was taken on 28 October 2003.
In the image, the bright areas show the sunspots as they appear in ultraviolet light.
Last update: 28 October 2003