The Sun produced three M-class (medium-sized) flares in less than 13 hours and the third one had an interesting flourish at the end (July 22-23, 2016). These were the largest flares the Sun had produced this year as seen by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observato
A close-up of twisting plasma above the Sun's surface produced a nice display of turbulence by caused combative magnetic forces (June 7-8, 2016) over a day and a half as seen by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory.
A substantial coronal hole had rotated so that it temporarily faced right towards Earth (May, 17-19, 2016). This coronal hole area is the dark area at the top center of this image from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory.
On May 9, 2016, Mercury passed directly between the Sun and Earth, making a transit of the Sun. Mercury transits happen about 13 times each century. NASA's SDO studies the Sun 24/7 and captured the eight-hour event.
This still image from an animation from NASA's GSFC's Solar Dynamics Observatory shows arches of magnetic field lines towered over the edge of the Sun as a pair of active regions began to rotate into view (Apr. 5-6, 2016).
NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory shows a long coronal hole has rotated so that was temporarily facing right towards Earth (Mar. 23-25, 2016). Coronal holes appear dark when viewed in some wavelengths of extreme ultraviolet light.
The magnetic field lines of three active regions in close proximity to one another interacted with each other over two and a half days (Feb. 8-10, 2016). This image is from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory.
This side-by-side rendering of the Sun at the same time in two different wavelengths of extreme ultraviolet light helps to visualize the differing features visible in each wavelength (Dec. 10-11, 2015). This image is from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory
On Sept. 13, 2015, as NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, kept up its constant watch on the sun. Just as the moon came into SDO's field of view on a path to cross the sun, Earth entered the picture, blocking SDO's view completely.
Three substantial coronal holes rotated across the face of the Sun the week of Sept. 8-10, 2015 as seen by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. Coronal holes are areas where the Sun's magnetic field is open and a source of streaming solar wind.
This still image from an animation from NASA GSFC's Solar Dynamics Observatory shows a single plume of plasma, many times taller than the diameter of Earth, spewing streams of particles for over two days (Aug. 17-19, 2015) before breaking apart.
This still image from an animation from NASA GSFC's Solar Dynamics Observatory shows magnetically charged particles forming a nicely symmetrical arch at the edge of the Sun as they followed the magnetic field lines of an active region (Aug.4-5, 2015).
Tracking Sunspots from Mars, April 2015 (Animation)
This single frame from a sequence of six images of an animation shows sunspots as viewed by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover from April 4 to April 15, 2015. From Mars, the rover was in position to see the opposite side of the sun.
Tracking Sunspots from Mars, Summer 2015 (Animation)
This single frame from a sequence of images shows sunspots as viewed by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover from June 27 to July 8, 2015; the rover was in position to see the opposite side of the sun from the side facing Earth during this period.
Flaring, active regions of our sun are highlighted in this image combining observations from several telescopes. During the observations, microflares went off, which are smaller versions of the larger flares that also erupt from the sun's surface.
This still image from an animation from NASA GSFC's Solar Dynamics Observatory shows dark strands of plasma hovering above the Sun's surface beginning to interact with each other in a form of tug of war over two and a half days (June 28-30, 2015).
A pair of substantial coronal holes were the most notable features on the Sun over the week of Mar. 28 - Apr. 2, 2015. The images were taken in a wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light by NASA GSFC's Solar Dynamics Observatory.