For the second time this week, a giant flare has burst from the sun.

The latest eruption was recorded at 5:55 a.m. MST Thursday, said Ernie Hildner, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Environment Center in Boulder, Colo."This was a spectacular solar event, but we don't expect a whole lot at Earth from it," he said. It was much larger than the flare reported Tuesday.

Both eruptions occurred in the southwest quadrant of the sun, which is rotating away from Earth.

"We're no longer looking down the barrel of the cannon, so I expect the ejection to miss the Earth, going off sideways," Hildner said.

While no major problems are anticipated, Hildner said scientists did detect some energetic solar particles within 20 minutes of the eruption. Those particles could affect sensitive instruments such as those used in carbon 14 dating, he said.

A solar flare is a strong release of energy. The two eruptions also could lead to an increase in the auroras - northern and southern lights - as the energy affects the Earth's magnetic field.