Radiation from astonishing ‘solar whip’ heading for earth
Big News Network (ANI) Tuesday 4th September, 2012
A stunning video released by NASA shows a 500,000 mile long 'solar whip' on the surface of the sun - and scientists say radiation from it is heading towards our planet.
The video, captured by from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), shows a very long, whip-like solar filament extending over half a million miles in a long arc above the sun's surface, the Daily Mail reported.
A 'solar whip' or filament is caused when a red glowing loop of plasma erupts, releasing the plasma out in huge loops hundreds of thousands of miles into space.
The filaments are anchored to the Sun's surface in the photosphere, and extend outwards into the Sun's hot outer atmosphere, called the corona.
The filaments are cooler clouds of solar material that are tethered above the sun's surface by unstable magnetic forces.
"Towards the end of the video part of the filament seems to break away, but its basic length and shape seem to have remained mostly intact," NASA said.
The video, which condenses three hours of activity, also reveals the action in dramatic detail in extreme ultraviolet light.
Now, the NOAA spaceweather prediction center estimates that a cloud of radiation from the eruption will reach Earth.
The radiation cloud will create a minor to moderate geomagnetic storm, bringing the northern lights to parts of North America.(ANI)