This image was acquired from NASA's Skylab space station on December 19, 1973. It shows one of the most spectacular
solar flares ever recorded, propelled by magnetic forces, lifting off from the Sun. It spans more than 588,000 km (365,000
miles) of the solar surface. In this photograph, the solar poles are distinguished by a relative absence of supergranulation
network, and a much darker tone than the central portions of the disk. (Courtesy NASA)                                  Back