NASA spacecraft captures video footage of intense solar eruption

Contributed by
Sep 4, 2014

File this one under things you don’t see every day. A NASA spacecraft has captured footage of a powerful solar eruption ripping across the sun, and it’s awesome.

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which is tasked with floating in space and keeping tabs on the sun, caught the eruption on camera, and the footage is an amazing peek into the ferocity and power of our nearest star.

Space reports that a massive tendril of super-hot plasma that had been creeping across the face of the sun erupted on Sept. 2 in a powerful solar storm that could potentially send a wave of charged particles toward Earth. Before the eruption occurred, astronomers had been tracking the filament of dark plasma across the sun, where it stretched more than 372,823 miles. Whoa.

Scientsts are still studying the event to confirm whether it was an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection (CME). Coronal mass ejections occur when the sun’s magnetic fields warp and reconnect. When that happens, it can leave a gap where the sun’s gooey hot plasma explodes into space.

Check out the footage below while you contemplate your place in the universe:

(Via Space)

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