Video Of The Day: An Enormous Solar Explosion Causes A Gorgeous Aurora

Published February 24, 2016
Updated January 24, 2018

Truly amazing views of the Sun aren’t easy to come by.

For one, it’s impossibly bright — some 400,000 times brighter than a full Moon. Secondly, looking at it through a telescope could permanently burn your retinas and make you go blind. But thanks to NASA, we’re able to witness not just the Sun itself, but the beautiful and stunning sight of a coronal mass ejection (CME).

The surface of the Sun experiences small CMEs an average of every five days, launching huge quantities of gas and electromagnetic radiation into space at hundreds of miles per second.

The video above was filmed on August 31, 2012, by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. This CME traveled away from the Sun at more than 900 miles per second. Its momentary impact with Earth’s magnetic field created a gorgeous aurora above the Yukon territory in northwest Canada.

Coronal Mass Ejection blasts like that truly aren’t easy to come by.

Next, check out this incredible, ultra high definition NASA video of the Sun. Then, discover some mind-blowing Sun facts.

Nickolaus Hines
Nickolaus Hines is a freelance writer in New York City. He graduated from Auburn University, and his recent bylines can be found at Men's Journal, Inverse, and Grape Collective.
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