A few weeks back, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory scheduled to observe the sun for the next years while in orbit around the earth took this video of a solar flare emanating from the sun. It takes a second or two to load.
I took a snapshot of one of the frames and drew the earth to scale so that you can the see the incredible size of this flare. Roughly 435,000 miles!
Many scientists believe that we are coming out of a period of low solar activity and trending into a period of more solar flares. Some also believe that this increase in solar activity has a direct impact on our climate. Some believe that the solar activity has very little effect on our global climate. Only time will tell.