Holy wow this is incredible I can’t believe what I’m seeing. Just look at Earth to scale. We’re like a speck of dust compared to the Sun, waiting to be consumed in a fiery Armageddon. At least it looks friggin’ beautiful, actually seeing activity on the sun.
NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) captured the incredible event back on July 19, 2012, known as “coronal rain,” categorizing this as a MEDIUM-STRENGTH FLARE. I can’t even imagine what things would look like at full, or super massive, strength. I’m buying extra sunscreen in case such a flare ever occurs.
“Hot plasma in the corona [the sun’s outer atmosphere] cooled and condensed along strong magnetic fields in the region,” NASA officials said. “Magnetic fields are invisible, but the charged plasma is forced to move along the lines, showing up brightly in the extreme ultraviolet wavelength of 304 Angstroms, and outlining the fields as it slowly falls back to the solar surface.”
SDO is an $850 million dollar spacecraft that marked its three-year anniversary in space back on Feb. 11; its purpose is to capture detailed views of the sun, solar flares and other related space events. In addition to spotting solar activity, SDO also helps scientists understand comets, and was even used to learn more about Venus’ atmosphere as it crossed the sun’s face, Space.com wrote.
It’s pretty incredible to actually see what’s happening up there; all we see from down here is a blinding ball of fire. In a twisted way, it’s actually much more beautiful than that.