A filament of magnetism curling around the sun's southeastern limb erupted on August 31st 2012, producing a coronal mass ejection (CME), a C8-class solar flare, and one of the most beautiful movies ever recorded by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory.
This also happens to be at 720p and in a good color range/energy frequency (rather than looking at the x-ray or ultraviolet views, which don't let you see the darker/cooler stuff as easy); absolutely breathtaking solar imagery. I've never seen a filament go straight out like that, the length of which was easily into the hundreds of thousands of kilometers.
More info from SolarHam.net
(NEW WINDOW & a GREAT website for up-to-the-minute solar news and warnings/information; kind of like a weather site with Physics, Astronomy, Cosmology, and Chemistry--mostly in just the basic understanding sense:
The filament located in the southeast quadrant appears to have erupted. A spectacular video below by SDO captured the event in progress. The plasma filled feature stretched hundreds of thousands of kilometers across and the Solar X-Rays reached close to the M1.0 threshold. A bright Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) was generated and a glancing blow impact will possible within the next 72 hours.
(And some more information from that same site that is more particular about the effects that that event will cause, directed towards us. The SDO is looking basically in our direction so if a CME, solar flare eruption, filament, and the like erupt then if it's in view it will be coming towards Earth and if we see it STRAIGHT on, we will be hit HARD. For those wondering about the orientation and how things are located roughly. Here's the information, some of which will require some Physics knowledge to understand what it means, so you will have to dig around and teach yourself that, as it would take awhile to explain every detail in this report...)
Here's what will hit us and what it will do; this is a minor one, as it wasn't directed directly at us:
Minor Radiation Storm: Low energy protons are currently streaming past Earth at higher levels. A minor radiation storm is currently in progress.
ALERT: Proton Event 10MeV Integral Flux exceeded 10pfu
Begin Time: 2012 Sep 01 1335 UTC
NOAA Scale: S1 - Minor
Potential Impacts: Radio - Minor impacts on polar HF (high frequency) radio propagation resulting in fades at lower frequencies.
I hope you learned a bit and very much enjoyed that video.