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10 incredible images of solar flares

By: Katherine Butler on Oct. 23, 2012, 1:48 p.m.
ionized helium, solar flares


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Plasma above the sun's surface

Plasma makes another appearance in this extreme ultraviolet image showing the sun on June 16, 2011. NASA recorded several spurts of plasma over the sun that flickered for 13 hours on this day. “This wavelength captures ionized helium at about 60,000 degrees not far above the sun's surface,” NASA writes

The activity of the sun can be beautiful and brilliant. But will it ever be deadly? NASA says that even the biggest solar flares could not destroy the Earth. However, the electromagnetic radiation and energetic particles have and will continue to threaten and disrupt our power grids, satellites and more. So while our physical selves may be safe, our cellphones are not.