It's been a busy months for solar flares. On Thursday, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory photographed this billowing plasma tower they've dubbed a "monster prominence." For 90 minutes, this flare twisted on the Sun's surface before collapsing and emitting material into space.

Here's NASA's method of recording this flare, which erupted over an area known as sunspot 1163:

[...] NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured the event in extreme ultraviolet light. Because SDO images are high definition, the team was able to zoom in on the flare and still see exquisite details. And using a cadence of a frame taken every 24 seconds, the sense of motion is, by all appearances, seamless.

You can read more about the potential ramifications of the Sun's current solar cycle here.

[Via NASA and SPACE]