Astronomy Picture of the Week – Solar Eruption

This is a fairly old picture of the Sun since it has been taken on September 14, 1997 by the space-based SOHO observatory. It represents a massive solar eruption. Such a phenomenon occurs when magnetic fields arching from the solar surface twist and trap ionized gas, suspending it in huge looping structures, often expelling it into space. Occasionally that huge amount of solar plasma is ejected in the direction of Earth. Fortunately we are protected by the Earth’s magnetic field, but if the eruption is large enough it can cause some electronic disturbances.

Solar eruption

Image Credit: SOHO-EIT Consortium, ESA, NASA.

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Paul Tomaszewski is a science & tech writer as well as a programmer and entrepreneur. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of CosmoBC. He has a degree in computer science from John Abbott College, a bachelor's degree in technology from the Memorial University of Newfoundland, and completed some business and economics classes at Concordia University in Montreal. While in college he was the vice-president of the Astronomy Club. In his spare time he is an amateur astronomer and enjoys reading or watching science-fiction. You can follow him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

One Comment

  • Anon

    Man, if only we can harvest a small percentage of that power! Just think that all the energy we are currently using (except of atomic probably) is a Sun energy in some way or form. Fossil fuel, hydro energy, wind and solar — all ultimately is a transformed solar energy.

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