Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Huge solar tornado captured in NASA video

These solar twisters often occur during, or may even trigger, the violent coronal mass ejections on the sun's surface.

By SPACE.comThu, Mar 29 2012 at 12:57 PM EST

A 'tornado' on the sun
IT'S A TWISTER: NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft observed a 'tornado' as wide as five Earths raging on the sun's surface on Sept. 25, 2011 (Photo: NASA/SDO/AIA/Aberystwyth University/Li/Morgan/Leonard)
A NASA spacecraft has captured video of a massive solar "tornado" five times wider than the Earth twisting its way across the surface of the sun.
NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) looked on as the huge, swirling storm raged on Sept. 25, 2011, spinning solar gas at speeds up to 186,000 mph (300,000 kph), researchers said. Here on Earth, tornado wind speeds top out at around 300 mph (483 kph). 
"This is perhaps the first time that such a huge solar tornado is filmed by an imager," Xing Li of Aberystwyth University in Wales, who analyzed the SDO footage, said in a statement. "Previously, much smaller solar tornadoes were found by the [NASA/European Space Agency] SOHO satellite. But they were not filmed."

MORE & VIDEO: http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/space/stories/huge-solar-tornado-captured-in-nasa-video


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