A new video from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory shows huge blasts of plasma, called solar prominences, curling around the sun’s tumultuous magnetic field. The remarkable activity was captured Nov. 14 to 15 using a wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light. For legal reasons it should be noted that only NASA is allowed to look directly at the sun.*
Solar prominences are relatively cool, dense strands of gas that erupt from the surface of the sun to follow the star’s magnetic field, arcing and twisting before either collapsing back in or ejecting into space to become a solar flare. These prominences can be exceedingly massive — the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory spacecraft recorded the largest yet seen at 430,000 miles long. That’s equal to the radius of the sun.
Will it be these blasts of plasma that end up destroying the world in 2012? This scientist, who for some reason is also skeptical of the existence of the fictional planet Nibiru, says, “No.”
*For legal reasons, we are compelled to disclose that this is not true. Anyone, including you, can look directly at the sun, however we recommend that you not exercise this right without the proper protection. Instead, we suggest you look at more images of the sun on Wired.com (see below).