Santiago Xalitzintla, Mexico: The Popocatepetl volcano spews a cloud of ash and smoke
Flares such as the ones this week are expected as the Sun reaches a peak of activity during its 11-year cycle. The Sun is predicted to reach this high, known as solar maximum, this year.
Paso de Cortes, Mexico: A cloud of ash belches out of Popocatepetl volcano
A fennec fox, the smallest fox in the world, in the White Desert (el-Sahara el-Beida), about 500 kilometres (310 miles) south-west of Cairo, Egypt. The desert has a white, cream colour and massive chalk rock formations that were created by sandstorms
Moscow, Russia: clouds at sunset following heavy rain
Between 12 and 14 May, the Sun unleashed four intense bursts of radiation, or flares. These X-class flares - the most intense type - represent the strongest activity on the Sun so far in 2013
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