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NASA VIDEO: Sun Unleashes 'Monster Eruption'


The sun unleashed a monster eruption of super-hot plasma Friday (Nov. 16) in back-to-back solar storms captured on camera by a NASA spacecraft.

The giant sun eruption, called a solar prominence, occurred at 1 a.m. EST (0600 GMT), with another event flaring up four hours later. The prominences was so large, it expanded beyond the camera view of NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), which captured high-definition video of the solar eruption.

"The red-glowing looped material is plasma, a hot gas made of electrically charged hydrogen and helium," officials with NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, which oversees the SDO mission, explained in a description. "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."

More NASA videos here...


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Reader Comments (33)

There's a quiz about the sun at the bottom of this link.

Nov 19, 2012 at 12:00 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Let me guess. Global warming caused this eruption.
Nov 19, 2012 at 3:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterCheyenne
Funny Cheyenne. I did some electrical work at the MIT Fusion lab and got to see their reactor. The 3 input bus bars were solid copper and about 12" wide x15" high or there about (my recollection) and had the be sized in that fashion to handle the amperage. They used RF energy (I believe it was in the range of 1-1.5 million watts RF) to cause the reaction which lasted about a millionth of a second or so.

It was impressive and glad they gave me the tour.
Nov 19, 2012 at 5:59 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Thankfully that blast of plasma did not come towards us. I have read where there was a solar storm at the beginning of the 1900s that pretty much wiped out lines and communications across the continent. This was of course in the infancy of power transmission lines. There has been some discussion as to whether or not the grid could take that kind of punishment from an intense storm such as this one. Don't know if they have built any safeguards into the system or not. I am sure John, the resident Tesla could fill in that void with some good information.
Nov 19, 2012 at 6:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterSKINFLINT
Skin, all I am is an average cat that gives a shit.

Nov 19, 2012 at 6:51 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Meant that with all due respect John. You seem to know a lot about this stuff. Lotta technical stuff that is.
Nov 19, 2012 at 7:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterSKINFLINT
No sweat Skin, I know that no offense was intended. Kids should know about this stuff too but it seems that science and economics take a back seat to corporatism in schools.. I will never take offense to anything here and I know better...until Bill McKibben or associates decide to comment here. Then look the fuck out. Then you will see me use this special tag "Irish Spring Ivory Soap".

And then rub their nose in it....
Nov 19, 2012 at 8:59 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Melted transformers, Northern Lights in Hawaii, the moon being stripped of it's surface. Dayum John, that is some powerful stuff. Thank God that we have a magnetic field to protect us.
Nov 19, 2012 at 10:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterSKINFLINT
In my book, calling someone Tesla, after Nicolas Tesla is a hell of a compliment.

Nov 20, 2012 at 3:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterDailyBail
It seems Tesla was an absolute genius. Edison was his inferior in my view.
Nov 20, 2012 at 7:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterSKINFLINT
The only way kids would learn about that kind of stuff today is if they became a Ham Radio Operator, and learned all the baics like Ohems Law..........KA9GZQ !
Nov 20, 2012 at 8:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterTexas Dar
Here is a good site for monitoring space weather. It has great real time videos and other technical info.


Currently sunspot activity:

ANOTHER FAST-GROWING SUNSPOT: The sunspot number is increasing again. During the past 36 hours, active region AR1618 has more than quadrupled in size. It now has more than a dozen dark cores scattered across an expanse of stellar surface more than 10 times wider than Earth...

...The sunspot has also developed a 'beta-gamma' magnetic field that harbors energy for strong solar flares. NOAA forecasters estimate a 30% chance of M-class flares and a 5% chance of X-flares during the next 24 hours. Because of the sunspot's nearly central location on the solar disk, any eruptions will likely be Earth-directed.
Nov 20, 2012 at 10:25 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
John, perhaps we should wear sun screen. I prefer butter. It scalds the outside so that the juices remain inside. Sort of like cooking a turkey. Happy Thanksgiving to all you Bailers out there. Remember, fill bucket, dump, repeat in time contiuum until we reach zero.
Nov 20, 2012 at 10:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterSKINFLINT
Checkout the corona borealis in some of those shots. I am certain you catch them in Maine sometimes John. Down here in O'Mallyland I have only seen one. Totally awesome.
Nov 20, 2012 at 10:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterSKINFLINT
Skin, here is a video I know you and others will appreciate. Happy Thanksgiving to you and all.


The gentleman who produced this has another one from a year ago and is currently working on a new one.
Nov 20, 2012 at 11:30 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Just some great stuff. Thanks John.
Nov 20, 2012 at 11:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterSKINFLINT
It would probably be pretty neat to camp under the stars and watch them all night long. Have to give it a try sometime. Get me and the boys on up there.
Nov 20, 2012 at 11:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterSKINFLINT
Happy Thanksgiving everybody. Great video, john.
Nov 21, 2012 at 11:34 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
Nov 21, 2012 at 11:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterS. Gompers
Complaints About Turkey Attacks On The Rise In Brookline

Nov 21, 2012 at 11:38 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
"Complaints About Turkey Attacks On The Rise In Brookline"

If that was my neighborhood the attacks would be very short lived and the freezers would be full. You got to love the new society, sissies everywhere.
Nov 23, 2012 at 2:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterS. Gompers
Gomp. My Mom moved us from the city in the early 70's and we came to a small country town. One day while sitting in a local diner on Main Street there came in two fellas with .22 rifles and a bag of squirrels across their backs. They ordered a couple of dogs fries and a coke. That same diner is there but I would dare say that if those same fellas came in the same fashion that the police would show up in large numbers and arrest the hell out of them. They used to teach gun safety in schools back then. Now a kid can't even forget to take his pen knife out of his back pack if he has been camping for the weekend without being thrown out of school and arrested first. Completely out of hand.
Nov 23, 2012 at 4:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterSKINFLINT
IPCC AR5 draft leaked, contains game-changing admission of enhanced solar forcing – as well as a lack of warming to match model projections, and reversal on ‘extreme weather’


Draft IPCC report leaked (the evidence is so overwhelming it has to be kept secret!)

Dec 16, 2012 at 12:22 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Space Weather Message Code: WARK05
Serial Number: 819
Issue Time: 2013 Jan 17 1530 UTC

WARNING: Geomagnetic K-index of 5 expected
Valid From: 2013 Jan 17 1545 UTC
Valid To: 2013 Jan 17 2100 UTC
Warning Condition: Onset
NOAA Scale: G1 - Minor

NOAA Space Weather Scale descriptions can be found at

Potential Impacts: Area of impact primarily poleward of 60 degrees Geomagnetic Latitude.
Induced Currents - Weak power grid fluctuations can occur.
Spacecraft - Minor impact on satellite operations possible.
Aurora - Aurora may be visible at high latitudes, i.e., northern tier of the U.S. such as northern Michigan and Maine.
Jan 17, 2013 at 3:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn
Comet ISON


COMET ISON SPROUTS A TAIL: Comet ISON, which is plunging toward the sun for a bright and fiery encounter in late 2013, has just sprouted a tail. It's not much--yet--but that is because the comet is still in deep space near the orbit of Jupiter. On. Feb. 3rd, amateur astronomer Rolando Ligustri photographed the development using a robotic telescope in New Mexico:

Comet ISON doesn't look very impressive now as it glides through the cold vacuum more than 600,000 km from Earth, but its appearance will improve later this year. On Nov. 28th, ISON is going to glide through the sun's atmosphere only 1.1 million km above the stellar surface. It could emerge from the encounter glowing as brightly as the full Moon, visible in broad daylight near the sun. If so, today's budding tail would likely grow into a garish appendage that wows observers in both hemispheres--no telescope required. Stay tuned for updates.

Update: NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft has also observed Comet ISON's sprouting tail. Click here for a video.

Comet ISON video


This poses no hazard, but for those interested in science and what may be in the skies later this year...
Feb 8, 2013 at 4:04 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Since I need a quick break, (as I know everyone else could use one too), I thought this would be a nice distraction...

Time Lapse Video: Comets Lemmon and PanSTARRS sweeping through the Southern Skies



Two comets - C/2012 F6 (Lemmon) and C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS) can be seen moving through the Southern Sky in this short time lapse video. Hopefully comet PanSTARRS brightens up significantly before moving into the Northern Hemisphere sky.

Note: Be on the lookout for this third one in Oct-Jan.

Feb 22, 2013 at 1:17 PM | Registered CommenterJohn
The scenes are amazing and the science behind it all is even better, thanks for sharing this with us!
May 15, 2013 at 9:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterSpace Pens
As promised, here is Ole C. Salomonsen's latest and greatest. ENJOY!

Aug 3, 2013 at 3:08 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Bigger things to worry about than global warming: Scientists say a destructive solar blast narrowly missed Earth in 2012


Video follows of the July 23rd, 2012 Coronal Mass Ejection, said to be the fastest ever

From UC BERKELEY — Earth dodged a huge magnetic bullet from the sun on July 23, 2012.

According to University of California, Berkeley, and Chinese researchers, a rapid succession of coronal mass ejections — the most intense eruptions on the sun — sent a pulse of magnetized plasma barreling into space and through Earth’s orbit. Had the eruption come nine days earlier, when the ignition spot on the solar surface was aimed at Earth, it would have hit the planet, potentially wreaking havoc with the electrical grid, disabling satellites and GPS, and disrupting our increasingly electronic lives.

This movie shows a coronal mass ejection (CME) on the sun from July 22, 2012, at 10:00 p.m. EDT until 2 a.m. on July 23 as captured by NASA’s Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory-Ahead (STEREO A). Because the CME headed in STEREO A’s direction, it appears like a giant halo around the sun. NOTE: This video loops 3 times.
The solar bursts would have enveloped Earth in magnetic fireworks matching the largest magnetic storm ever reported on Earth, the so-called Carrington event of 1859. The dominant mode of communication at that time, the telegraph system, was knocked out across the United States, literally shocking telegraph operators. Meanwhile, the Northern Lights lit up the night sky as far south as Hawaii….


Here is a video of another solar storm a few years ago that caused widespread blackouts and transformer damage. I used to build, maintain and test components in substations some years ago and can say that this video is spot on.

Mar 23, 2014 at 8:20 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Totally cool. Thrown back into the dark ages. Would have been interesting. Thanks for that one John.
Mar 23, 2014 at 1:30 PM | Unregistered Commenterskinflint

SUPER SOLAR FILAMENT: It is, arguably, the second biggest thing in the solar system. A filament of magnetism almost 1,000,000 km long is stretching across the face of the sun. Only the sun itself is bigger. Yesterday in the Canary Islands, Frank A. Rodriguez used a Lunt Solar Telescope to photograph the super structure:

This is a solar filament, a tendril of plasma held suspended above the surface of the sun by magnetic forces. Filaments appear on the sun all the time, but this one is unusually large, 5 to 10 times longer than ordinary filaments. If it becomes unstable and erupts, it could hurl parts of itself into space. Pieces of the filament falling back to the solar surface would explode upon impact, sparking a Hyder flare.
Feb 11, 2015 at 6:03 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn

Large solar filament erupts, produces partial halo CME


A large solar filament, which was stretching more than 857 780 km (533 000 miles) last week, finally erupted at approximately 09:25 UTC on February 21, 2015.

A partial halo CME (or sequence of CMEs) was later observed in SOHO LASCO coronagraph imagery emerging from the southwest. The filament erupted on the farside of the Sun, in the south central portion of the disk.


We were god damn lucky this wasn't facing toward earth. This would have been another Carrington type event and most likely cause VERY SERIOUS electrical and other problems. Will post more info later.
Feb 23, 2015 at 6:13 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn

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