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After several weeks without any major flares, the Sun's activity has picked and reminded us that we are indeed at the maximum phase of the solar cycle. There have been 26 M- and 3 X-class and flares over the past week! For comparison, the 5 months prior to this week produced just 16 M-class events. Most of this activity has come from two regions, 11875 and 11882, the latter of which is depicted in the animations above. They show two of the M flares that occurred in this region, M1.0 and M3.5 respectively (note that the second flare happened concurrently with a flare in AR 11875, to which the flare was attributed by NOAA). The two events are remarkably similar, each showing hot plasma being cast off to the upper left in a coronal mass ejection (CME). The images used to create these movies are each composed of two exposures: a short one (~0.001 sec) to see the bright core and a longer one (~0.5 sec) to catch the faint material surrounding it. The noisy regions above and below the flare cores are caused by CCD blooming in the long exposures.
Keywords: Flare, CME, Limb