Watch this stunning solar eruption create loops of fiery rain on the Sun's surface

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This is incredible. NASA has just released a never-before-seen video of a solar eruption from July of last year that shows a solar flare, a coronal mass ejection, and loops of solar rain all occurring in one breathtaking sequence.

The eruption started on July 19, 2012, when a moderately powerful solar flare burst from a magnetically active region on the Sun's lower right limb, emitting light and radiation over the Sun's surface. It was followed by a coronal mass ejection, a roiling whip of energetic plasma that flies from the Sun in a violent burst of charged particles. Then came the coronal rain, a stunning display whereby ejected plasma cools and condenses along otherwise invisible lines of magnetic fields.


As the charged plasma traces its way along the lines, it reveals itself to NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory at the extreme ultraviolet wavelength of 304 Angstrom, which, according to NASA, corresponds to solar material at a temperature of around 50,000 Kelvin (that's close to 90,000 degrees Fahrenheit, for those wondering).

Bear in mind that this video is, in fact, a timelapse. SDO collected one frame every 12 seconds. The movie is presented here at 30 FPS, so every second corresponds to six minutes of real time. Really remarkable stuff — another great treatment from the folks at NASA's Goddard Scientific Visualization Studio.