From time to time, the Sun insists on showing us its dark side, which is totally different from its friendly, warming, and bright appearance that it usually shows. After all, the Sun is a star, which means that it’s by definition much hotter than the woman of your dreams.
On Saturday (Sept. 16), a huge solar tendril known as a solar filament was ejected from our star. As a result, a hot plasma eruption known as a coronal mass ejection (CME) was shot toward our planet, according to Space.com.
THE BIGGEST ERUPTION I HAVE EVER SEEN! I have been observing the Sun professionally for over 50 years and this is the largest filament eruption I have seen. Note it covers over half the Sun, compare it to the size of the Earth (inset) but amazingly it did not produce a big flare. pic.twitter.com/RgplcTy0Ap
— Keith Strong (@drkstrong) September 17, 2023
Back in May, we shared the news regarding the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope, showcasing mesmerizing views of the surface of our Sun. Thus, astronomers were able to observe details of convective cells, sunspots, and plasma motion. In other words, it’s obvious that it’s in scientists’ best interest to study our star as much as possible and try to predict its behavior. Although we can’t possibly approach the Sun too close using highly advanced gear, analyzing it by other methods still remains a priority and a possibility.
The blast carried by a coronal mass ejection (CME) is able to host a billion tons of material. All that matter will eject from the Sun at very high speeds. How high? Well, consider a few hundreds of kilometers per second. And no, that’s no exaggeration.