The Solar Dynamics Observatory satellite captured this image yesterday. A massive filament on the Sun erupted in a stunning display as seen here in the videos below.
The giant solar eruption created a long filament of magnetic plasma, which extended an astounding 435,000 miles (700,000 kilometers). This is nearly twice the distance between the Earth and the moon, which is about 238,857 miles (384,403 kilometers)
The location of the eruption and the magnetic field configuration and direction of the eruption suggest the impact of the event on the Earth will be limited. Watch the videos below to see it happen:
Here’s a second video, showing closer detail:
From YouTube: A very long solar filament that had been snaking around the Sun erupted today (Dec. 6, 2010) with a flourish. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) caught the action in dramatic detail in extreme ultraviolet light of Helium. It had been almost a million km long ((about half a solar radius) and a prominent feature on the Sun visible over two weeks ago before it rotated out of view. Filaments are elongated clouds of cooler gases suspended above the Sun by magnetic forces. They are rather unstable and often break away from the Sun. Note: the edge of the moon can be glimpsed at 0300 UT during a brief lunar transit.