The Sun had a fit and popped off two large events at once early today, Jan. 28, 2011. A filament on the left side became unstable and erupted, while an M-1 flare (mid-sized) and a coronal mass ejection on the right blasted into space. Neither event was headed towards Earth. This SDO movie, which is from Jan. 26-28, 2011, shows several other flashes and bursting from the active region on the right as well.
If you remember, in December, solar physicists released their findings that near-synchronous explosions in the solar atmosphere – sometimes millions of kilometers apart – can be related.
You can see another view of the events as seen by the SOHO spacecraft below, and another version of the SDO data.
Here’s another multi-wavelength and closeup view of the events from SDO: