Apr 28, 2022

‘Tornado of Fire’ Is Latest Sight on the Sun’s Tumultuous Surface

Posted by in category: climatology

The sun is moving into the hyperactive phase of its roughly 11-year cycle when sunspots, solar flares and all other sorts of tumultuous heliocentric happenings become more common. Case in point: A vortex of fire as tall as 10 Earths stacked on top of each other could be seen doing a quick dance on the sun’s surface late Tuesday.

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory caught an eruption from the sun that swirled like a tornado as it produced a bright coronal mass ejection, or CME. Astronomer Tony Phillips clipped the below footage for Spaceweather.com.

CMEs are blasts of charged plasma that often accompany solar flares. When they’re directed at Earth, they can produce bright auroras when they collide with our magnetosphere. This particular CME that started with the rare solar twister was not directed at Earth.

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