Video reblogged from The Dark Side of the Force with 942 notes
Huge tornadoes discovered on the Sun
A solar tornado several times as wide as the Earth was discovered in the solar atmosphere using the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly telescope on board the Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDO) satellite. This is the first time that such a huge solar tornado is filmed by an imager.
The Atmospheric Imaging Assembly saw superheated gases as hot as 50,000 – 2,000,000 Kelvin sucked from the root of a dense structure called prominence, and spiral up into the high atmosphere and travel about 200,000 kilometres along helical paths for a period of at least three hours. The tornadoes were observed on 25 September 2011.
The hot gases in the tornadoes have speeds as high as 300,000 km per hour. They often occur at the root of huge coronal mass ejections, dragging winding magnetic field and electric currents into the high atmosphere. It is possible that the magnetic field and currents play a key role in driving the coronal mass ejections.