The Sun Emits a Plasma Arc So Big You Could Fit 25 Earths Beneath It

The sun is big. Really, really big. It's so big, every feature on it is mind-boggling huge. Last week it spun out a massive prominence arcing out into space so ginormous that a mischievous fireproof Titan could've used it as a hoop to dunk the Earth in a game of cosmic basketball.

How big was this prominence? NASA isn't reporting the exact dimensions, but they did release video and images with the Earth at the same scale is superimposed in the lower left to give context. Using the Earth as a unit of measurement, that prominence extends at least twenty-five Earth-diameters out from the sun. That's a loop big enough to dunk the Earth, or even Jupiter, in a nothing-but-net roominess with plenty of space to spare. Whoa.


The Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this view of the sun and its epic prominence between July 10th and July 16th of this year. After that sticking around for a relatively long time for this type of structure, the plasma arch dissipated. This is the sun as seen in extreme ultraviolet light, which is ideal for tracking the long arc of plasma stretching out from the surface.

Image credits: Solar Dynamics Observatory/NASA. Need more hypnotizing solar goodness? Check out the sun huffing and puffing earlier this year.


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