On Jan. 27, 2012, a large X-class flare erupted from an active region near the solar west limb. X-class flares are the most powerful of all solar events.
Seen here is an image of the flare captured by the X-ray telescope on Hinode.
This image shows an emission from plasma heated to greater than eight million degrees during the energy release process of the flare.
Explore further: Image: C3-class solar flare erupts on Sept. 8, 2010