What Does An Earthbound Solar Storm Look Like? | Learn Astronomy HQ

What Does An Earthbound Solar Storm Look Like?

Sun Flare Destination Earth large.jpg

This incredible image taken from ESA/NASA's SOHO space observatory shows an image of a massive solar storm headed towards Earth. Don't worry this one came and went a while ago, but the image gives a unique view of a coronal mass ejection. These ejections are violent. They are massive blasts ejecting billions of tonnes of matter and then propel them to millions of miles per hour. This particular ejection was 30 million miles wide when it reached Earth after a 2 day journey.

This picture shows the Sun's disc taken in extreme ultra-violet and then superimposed on the background of the approaching solar storm. 

I find this picture quite amazing, the power is clear to see and you really get the feeling of looking down the barrel of the approaching storm. It's also a great example why we must NEVER look directly at the Sun.

Source: ESA

Image credit: SOHO (ESA/NASA)/S. Hill

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