A Splash of Sun

A large solar flare erupted from the Sun on September 7, 2011 and resulted in a coronal mass ejection (CME) and impressive display of magnetic activity, seen here in a video made from data from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory’s AIA 304 imaging assembly.

Spanning the course of about three hours over the 7th and 8th of September, the video shows a release of solar material from Active Region 1289, a portion of which is flung out into space but some is caught up in the Sun’s magnetic field lines and arcs back down to strike the surface. This dramatic event spans many hundreds of thousands of miles!

This ejection of charged solar particles later impacted with Earth’s magnetosphere, creating bright aurora across the upper latitudes around the world.

Credit: NASA/SDO and the AIA science team.