This Is the Most Astonishing Solar Eruption I've Ever Seen

I don't know if it's the most amazing view of a solar eruption ever recorded, but it probably is. When our friends at NASA Goddard sent us this image of the latest solar eruption today, we just couldn't believe how astonishing and ominous it looked.

So astonishing and special that NASA titled their image "Magnificent CME Erupts on the Sun with Earth to Scale." And in private one of their engineers told me "AMAZING STUFF!" So yes, they are in awe too.

Fortunately, it didn't travel directly toward Earth. According to NASA, however, it "did connect with Earth's magnetic environment, or magnetosphere, causing aurora to appear on the night of Monday, September 3." No knocked down satellites or communications craziness.

The eruption was recorded on August 31, 2012: "a long filament of solar material that had been hovering in the sun's atmosphere, the corona, erupted out into space at 4:36PM EDT. The coronal mass ejection, or CME, traveled at over 900 miles per second." [NASA Goddard Flickr]


Here is a processed version of the same image, a "lighten blended version of the 304 and 171 angstrom wavelengths."

This Is the Most Astonishing Solar Eruption I've Ever Seen

This Is the Most Astonishing Solar Eruption I've Ever Seen

And here's the version with the entire sun disc. Click to expand it.