The most awesome part of this story from Ian O’Neill on Discovery News is the technology that even recognized this event in the first place, but there are some out there who fear-monger about it (needless to say the title of this story is in jest). I try to keep in mind that the universe is more a wondrous place, than one intent on destroying human life (I’m looking at you, Larry Joseph). Ian O’Neill writes on Discovery News:
Earlier this morning, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) witnessed a complex magnetic eruption on the sun. The joint NASA/ESA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) — a mission sitting at the L1 point between the Earth and the sun — also spotted a large coronal mass ejection (CME) blasting in the direction of Earth.
It is thought that the SDO and SOHO observations are connected, making this a global magnetic disturbance affecting the whole of the Earth-facing side of the sun.
The eruption happened at around 0855 UT (3:55 am EST), when the SDO detected a C3-class solar flare originating from a cluster of sunspots (called sunspot 1092). This isn’t a large flare, but right at the same time, a filament located about 100,000 kilometers from the flare also erupted.
A “filament” is a long magnetic structure rising high above the surface of the sun filled with cool plasma. Because it is cooler than the sun’s chromosphere, when in the direct line of sight between the Earth and sun, it appears as a dark ribbon snaking across the sun’s disk. If a filament is spotted on the limb of the sun (i.e. on the side), it appears as a bright prominence arcing high into the sun’s atmosphere.
Read More: Discovery News