Sunspot 1153 has been transitioning the earth-facing surface of the sun for about a week, and today at 1852 UT it exploded into a brilliant wavelength of light, so bright that it looks to have overloaded the SDO systems which can be seen in one of the slides.
One image from the SDO AIA channel 0304 shows a huge chunk of plasma the size of several earth’s being hurled from the surface of the sun in dramatic fashion.
The sun has been exceptionally quiet with regards to exploding solar flares since the latter part of 2010 when it went through a few periods of exciting activity. The current solar cycle has been downgraded several times lately, while the current expectations are for less activity overall during this cycle 24.
Even if solar cycle 24 produces fewer sunspots than originally forecast, any one of them can be just as destructive as though during a very active cycle. It’s only a matter of time before we experience another Carrington event.