Video: SDO Observatory Captures Another Beautiful, Gigantic Solar Storm

Tuesday, December 7, 2010 - 14:30 in Astronomy & Space

Last month's solar storm was pretty stellar, but the massive flare that erupted from the sun yesterday put it to shame, lashing out from the solar surface in a beautiful filament that stretched for 435,000 miles - nearly twice the distance between the Earth and moon and about 60,000 miles larger than last month's plasma ejection. The storm is not directed Earthward, so there's no threat from yesterday's solar activity either to earthbound electronics or to satellites in orbit - a good thing, since NASA's 'Solar Shield' isn't in working order just yet. In the meantime, the filament-like flare has been putting on a show above the solar surface since early Monday morning, posing for backyard astronomers and astrophotographers who should have no problem seeing the structure from amateur telescopes. But be advised; reports the structure is now showing signs of instability. That could be good for solar watching, as massive...

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