back to article Sun BELCHES twice, mighty plasma loops miss Earth - NASA vid

The Sun lashed out with two plasma eruptions one after the other early on Friday morning. NASA's Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDO) spotted the solar flares, when red-hot loops of plasma burst out of the surface of the Sun. The flares both happened within a four-hour window between 6am and 10am GMT, when prominences in the Sun …


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  1. BillG

    Global Warming

    Uh, yeah, its caused by global warming, yeah, that's it!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Global Warming

      The funny thing is you are almost right. It is indeed causing global warming (the sun)

      1. perlcat

        Re: Global Warming the same sense that long underwear causes global warming of each of my bollocks.

  2. arrbee


    "red-hot loops of plasma" that were "captured in the 304 Angstrom wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light"

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lucky?

      Well, when my kids complain "The sun's shining in my eyes!" I retort "Not a bad shot for 93 million miles"

    2. I Am Spartacus

      Re: Lucky?

      Lets see, distance of Earth from Sun, 150 Million Km Therefore the surface area of the sphere around the earths orbit is, hmm 4.PI.R^2 = 2.8 x 10^17 sq Km. Radius of the earth is 6400 Km, so the area of the earth is the area of a circle of this radius, so PI.r^2 = 1.3 x 10^7 sq Km.

      So the ratio of these gives us the probability that a random solar flare will hit earth. or approx 2 x 10^9, or 1 in 2 Billion.

      1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Wrong equation

        If you start at the sun, pick a random direction and fire something tiny, like the moon then the chance of hitting the Earth are about 1 in 2 billion. Coronal mass ejections are big - similar to the size of the sun when they start. They spread out. I could not find an decisive figure for how much they spread out. The closest I could find to a useful number was 0.25au long. If we pretend that CME's are 0.25au wide when they pass Earth orbit (1au) then the chances of a hit are about 1 in 250.

        If someone knows a vaguely sensible number for the diameter of a CME when gets 1au from the sun, please speak up. I have almost no confidence in that 0.25au guess.

    3. Grikath

      Re: Lucky?

      Including other factors? Beermat tells me one in ten-ish. Which amounts to once or twice a year. Which gets duly reported at all your favourite news outlets, including Vulture Central.

  4. johnnymotel

    real time?

    are those pics in real time?

    1. Donald Atkinson

      Re: real time?

      No that was a 4 hour time lapse.

      1. johnnymotel

        Re: real time?

        should have guessed that, thanks.....still over 4 hours those gasses must have been travelling something.

  5. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Look, I know The Sun is almost as bad as The Daily mail, but don't you think that headline is going a bit too far?

  6. Stuart Halliday

    Ahh the Triffids are just waiting, dormant in orbit, for the World to go blind so they can feast on our flesh.

    Well makes a change from the usual Zombie apocalypse.... 8)

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