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Solar Flare Erupts, Creating Spectacular Images

Solar Flare June 7, 2011

June 7: This image provided by NASA shows the Sun unleashing a medium-sized solar flare, a minor radiation storm and a spectacular coronal mass ejection.AP/NASA

Great balls of fire!

A solar blast that NASA classified as an M-2 explosion has erupted from the sun in an impressive display captured by the space agency's cameras. In the amazing blast, a large cloud of charged magnetic particles mushroomed up out of the sun and fell back down, appearing to cover almost half of the solar surface.

Scientists said that the event won't have a significant impact on Earth, although it will deliver a "glancing blow" to the planet's magnetic field late June 8 or June 9, NASA said. 

Images were recorded by the orbiting satellite called the Solar Dynamics Observatory.

But it's not expected to cause a major impact here. The National Weather Service is predicting minor effects on satellites and weak impacts on some power grids.

The eruption was somewhat unique because at many places there seem to be even cooler material -- at temperatures less than 80,000 K.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.