This enormous tornado erupting from the surface of the sun is big enough to swallow the Earth. In fact, it could swallow five Earths. Discovered using NASA's Solar Dynamic Observatory satellite, this colossal twisting mass is made up of superheated gas at a temperature of between 90,000 and 3.6 million degrees Fahrenheit. Over the course of three hours, this behemoth reached up from the sun's surface to a height of 125,000 miles, or roughly half the distance between the Earth and the moon. The hot gases were whipped up to nearly 186,000 miles per hour. In comparison, the wind speed of terrestrial tornadoes generally reaches a paltry 100 miles per hour. Scientists have previously seen smaller solar tornadoes with other sun-observing satellites but this one — spotted in September 2011 — is thought to be the first one ever filmed (left). Since then, researchers have seen at least one more solar tornado, an Earth-sized twister seen in the video below. These tornadoes often precede events known as coronal mass ejections — huge eruptions of charged particles that blast out of the sun's surface with tremendous energy. Such flare-ups are thought to be related to interactions among the sun's magnetic field lines, whose corkscrewing movements also shape the solar tornado. The top images and movie were presented at the National Astronomy Meeting 2012 in Manchester, England on Mar. 29.
The only thing more terrifying than a giant twister on Earth is one on the face of the sun. A monstrous tornado has been observed erupting on our star, and its numbers are staggering. So big it could swallow five Earths in one gulp, the swirling vortex observed last September and presented at this week's National Astronomy Meeting in England grew to a height of 125,000 miles, about half the distance between Earth and the moon. The temperature of the plume of superheated gas measured between 90,000 and 3.6 million degrees Fahrenheit and was accelerated to speeds approaching 186,000 miles per hour. Discovered by NASA's Solar Dynamic Observatory, this Master Blaster is thought to be the first Solar Tornado ever filmed, and may help us understand the kinds of large particle eruptions that recently came flying at us from the ball of gas. As our local star approaches Solar Max, the peak activity of an 11-year cycle, 2012 is shaping up to be one spectacular year for space weather.
A tremendous tornado whirling across the surface of the sun was captured by a NASA satellite recently -- an amazing wonder of the solar system that may be as big as the Earth itself. The video was recorded by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), a sun-watching satellite that has transmitted a series of stunning photos of solar flares in recent months. The new video shows darker, cooler plasma shifting back and forth above the sun's surface over the span of nearly 30 hours stretching from Feb. 7 to Feb. 8. And the giant tornado may be as large as the Earth itself, with gusts of up to 300,000 mph, explained Terry Kucera, deputy SOHO project scientist and a solar physicist with NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. "It's about 15,000 degrees Fahrenheit -- relatively cool," Kucera told FoxNews.com. After all, the sun's corona is a whopping 2 million degrees, she explained. Such tornadoes (Kucera classed it a "solar prominence") have been known of for decades; the European Space Agency's SOHO spacecraft captured evidence of them as early as 1996, mainly near the Sun's north and south poles at the time. And though they resemble their cousins here on Earth, they're created entirely differently, Kucera said -- through magnetism, not pressure and temperature fluctuations. "Those motions you see, it's all just moving along the magnetic field somehow -- but we're still looking to understand what's happening with these things," Kucera said. The storm was created by competing magnetic forces, which pull the charged magnetic particles on the sun back and forth, creating a spinning mass of plasma that tracks along strands of magnetic field lines, NASA explained. The spinning top of the tornado is mesmerizing, but Kucera noted the span of the prominence as well. The long, ribbon shapes could span hundreds of thousands of miles, she said. "In total length, this could be dozens of Earths -- quite large," she said. Such detailed, high-resolution recordings of the immense tornadoes was not possible until the launch of SDO. The satellite has several cameras on board that capture solar activity in different wavelengths and frequencies, all in the name of science. "Each wavelength of light tells us something different," she said. See more HERE: The CELESTIAL Convergence http://astronomicalsecrets.blogspot.com/2012/02/tornado-on-sun.html FAIR USE NOTICE: These pages/video may contain copyrighted (© ) material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available to advance understanding of ecological, POLITICAL, HUMAN RIGHTS, economic, DEMOCRACY, scientific, MORAL, ETHICAL, and SOCIAL JUSTICE ISSUES, etc. It is believed that this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior general interest in receiving similar information for research and educational.
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For a 30 hour time frame on (Feb 7-8, 2012) the Solar Dynamics Observatory captured plasma caught in a magnetic dance across the Sun's surface. In this video, cooler plasma material appears as darker spots on a bright background. The SDO spacecraft recorded the video in the extreme ultraviolet range of the light spectrum, giving the movie an eerie yellow hue. NASA released the new SDO video to mark the second anniversary of the spacecraft's mission, which launched on Feb. 11, 2010. The $850 million spacecraft is on a five-year mission to record high-definition videos of the sun to help astronomers better understand how changes in the sun's solar weather cycle can affect life on Earth. The sun is currently in an active period of its 11-year weather cycle. The current cycle is known as Solar Cycle 24 and will peak in 2013.