Source: NASA-Solar Dynamic Observatory
Double event on the Sun. Credit: NASA/SDO
NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) caught the action in freeze-frame splendor when the Sun popped off two events at once on Jan. 28, 2011. These simultaneous flares are usually called “sympathetic” flares.
Scientists that study the Sun have observed nearly simultaneous solar flares occurring in completely different areas of the Sun since long ago, but it was thought these near-synchronous explosions in the solar atmosphere were too far apart to be connected. Development of space observatories that allow pictures of the Sun viewed from different perspectives has allowed to connect these events to the lines of the Sun's magnetic field. (read source)