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The Sun lets loose a huge explosion

June 8, 2011

On June 7, the Sun released a solar flare coupled with a prominence (a physical eruption of gas from the surface). This event blasted something like a billion tons of material away from the sun.

While it started from a small region on the Sun’s surface, it quickly expanded into a plume easily as big as the Sun itself — possibly over a million kilometers across.

This first video shows the event in ultraviolet (304 Angstroms) and is colored orange to make it easy to see:

The second video from the Helioviewer is a close-up looking at even higher energy; it’s still UV but at 171 Angstroms:

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