Is it getting hot in here? The sun unleashed a solar flare aimed at the Earth on Thursday. The explosion of charged particles, also known as a plasma wave, will likely create a beautiful Northern light display, otherwise known as an aurora. The flare has been classified as an M2-class storm, meaning it was considered powerful but moderate. According to astronomers, the sun is near the middle of its 11-year weather cycle, which is expected to peak in 2013.