Yesterday, an explosion on the sun's eastern limb hurled a twisted plume of debris more than 250,000 km above the solar surface. NASA's orbiting Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the blast:
An 8-hr movie recorded by extreme ultraviolet telescopes onboard the spacecraft shows what happened: A tornado of magnetized plasma became unstable when the twister twisted a bit too much. Magnetic fields crissed, crossed, and exploded in a process known as "magnetic re-connection." The flying debris will not hit our planet; the blast was too far off the sun-Earth line.
Meanwile a massive coronal hole is still facing Earth meaning we could still expect more major quakes and volcanic activity in the coming days.
Solar wind flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on Feb. 23-24. Credit: NASA/SDO.