Winter doldrums getting you down? Let this amazing photo of the sun brighten your day. The smoky puff on the left is a remnant of a solar flare that erupted from the sunspot below.

Astrophotographer Alan Friedman captured this shot at a star party in the Florida Keys last week, using a fairly small amateur telescope. His website has a whole collection of space snapshots and more boiling sun photos like this one. Click through to Bad Astronomy for a nice description of how it was done.

See the two sunspots beneath the puff? The little one, to the right, is twice the size of Earth.

[Averted Imaginationvia Bad Astronomy]