A massive 'tornado' on the sun, the height of 14 Earths, caught on camera
Imagine hot, boiling plasma rising into the sky, going as tall as the size of 14 Earths put together and then falling back, with each blog the size of our Earth! This is what recently happened on the sun, sending astronomers, even amateurs, and astrophotographers scurrying to witness the awe-striking occurrence.
Images of possibly the tallest tornado in the solar system have been captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. The solar tornado happened in the north pole of the sun and had been building for three days, ultimately rising as high as 120,000 kilometres before collapsing into a cloud of magnetised gas.
The boiling plasma in the sun's atmosphere was reportedly brewing for three days last week. It then gained a height of 120,000 kilometres, which is equivalent to 14 piles of Earth. The solar tornado then collapsed and ejected lots of different materials in the form of plasma into space. However, a report on Space Weather said that our planet is not likely to feel any effects of the tornado and the ensuing material.
The occurrence of Earth-sized blobs falling onto the Sun had astronomers in awe who described it as nothing less than hell. "This 14-Earths-tall swirling column of plasma was raining moon-sized gobs of incandescent material on the sun," astrophotographer Andrew McCarthy tweeted. "I can't imagine a more hellish place."
Reports say that the sun has been immensely active for the last few days. There are at least six sunspots currently visible on its disk, a UK space weather forecaster said. More solar flares and plasma eruptions can be expected in the coming days in one of these spots on the sun's southeastern edge.
Massive solar winds are also happening right now on the sun, with the winds being ejected from two coronal holes in the sun's upper atmosphere, that is the corona. These solar winds upon contact with the Earth's magnetic field are likely to trigger geomagnetic storms.