The space agency also has the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) and Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO).
This video shows what happens when data from its whole heliophysics fleet is combined - a sense of scale sorely lacking from just the SDO.
The solar flare erupted on May 1st. They are caused by massive releases of energy on the Sun's surface that eject clouds of electrons, ions and atoms.
Often these break through the corona of the Sun into space in what is called a coronal mass ejection (CME).
CMEs often head towards Earth, hitting the atmosphere around one to five days later.