An orbiting NASA spacecraft has captured a giant sun eruption which occurred on November 16 in two rounds. The first event took place at 1 a.m. EST (06: 00 GMT), followed by another one four hours later.
“The red-glowing looped material is plasma, a hot gas made of electrically charged hydrogen and helium,” explain officials with NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, as cited by Space.
“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 flares on the sun surface are not harmless to the Earth when directly aimed towards it. The radiations they exhale can interfere with GPS, television or radio broadcasts on Earth as well as put the orbiting satellites and astronauts in danger.
This time we got lucky, the solar prominence's action wasn't directed straight towards us.