Giant Sun Eruption NASA Video: Camera Captured Glowing Plasma [VIDEO]
A huge sun eruption was captured on video and camera by NASA on Friday, showing consecutive solar storms that resulted in what is called a solar prominence.
The first flare-up occurred at 1:00 a.m. EST; the second one started four hours later. The eruptions were so big in scale that NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) couldn't take photo of the entire prominence. But the high-defintion video is causing much excitement among scientists.
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"The red-glowing looped material is plasma, a hot gas made of electrically charged hydrogen and helium," officials with NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, which oversees the SDO mission, explained. "The prominence plasma flows along a tangled and twisted structure of magnetic fields generated by the sun's internal dynamo. An erupting prominence occurs when such a structure becomes unstable and bursts outward, releasing the plasma."
The eruptions follow three other flare-ups on Nov. 12, 13 and 14. On Monday there was a M6-class eruption. And on Tuesday and Wednesday , space weather conditions spurred a geo-magnetic storm creating awe-inspiring northern lights displays for people at high latitudes.
The sun is now in an active phase of an 11-year solar weather cycle. The cycle, known as Solar Cycle 24, will likely peak in 2013.
Watch the spectacular video here...
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