NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory took this image of a "particularly large and complex sunspot" that fired off a pair of two M-class solar flares. The flares didn't include coronal mass ejections (so we're not all gonna die), but it does make for a very pretty picture, especially at 131 Angstroms.
Solar flares offer us treats like spectacular low-latitude auroras, but NASA says they have practical applications, too: namely, increased solar activity can swat space junk out of orbit.
You've probably heard all kinds of horror stories about how the solar flare that's currently pummeling Earth means we should all be wearing tinfoil hats and cowering in our basements fighting off panic and anarchy. But really, it's not that bad, and there's one big reason why you should be excited that a solar flare is pointing our way: auroras.
We don't often think of the Sun's solar flares as a looming threat, but increased activity can wreak havoc our communications, electronics and even our power grid. With mounting worries that a massive flare could be in our immediate future, NASA is working on a plan that could keep us up and running.