NASA Reveals Incredible Pic of Largest Solar Eruption Ever Photographed

by Madison Miller

As we explore more and more of space, it’s astounding what scientists are able to capture on camera. Now, NASA shared a picture of the largest solar eruption ever caught on camera. It was taken by the Solar Orbiter spacecraft on February 15. This spacecraft was created by both NASA and the European Space Agency. This photo shows as this superhot material is starting to burst through the surface of the sun.

According to The Sun, this is the largest solar prominence we’ve ever been able to observe in a single image. “Solar prominences are large structures of tangled magnetic field lines that keep dense concentrations of solar plasma suspended above the Sun’s surface, sometimes taking the form of arching loops,” the ESA stated with the announcement of the photo.

This explosion, luckily, happened on the far side of the sun. This means all those hot gases and particles completely missed our planet. Although it misses us, it all extends millions of meters in space at the moment.

According to CNN, after looking at the image, scientists also believe that this size of the eruption classifies as what is known as an “X-Class flare.” This is the most powerful category for one of these solar eruptions.

If any of this hit Earth we’d be dealing with geomagnetic storms that could knock out satellites and cause other damage. The sun has actually gone through several of these coronal mass ejections just this month alone.

NASA Outlines Sun’s Current Hyperactive Period

The sun has actually erupted every single day during this month. Several of these eruptions are also classified in the second-most powerful category. While this all seems rather outlandish, it isn’t at all. These solar storms are all part of the sun’s normal activity and none of this is grounds for any kind of panic. Also, the sun is currently starting a new 11-year cycle, which is why these eruptions are more intense. The sun isn’t about to implode leaving us in darkness. Rather, scientists always keep a close on it just in case a geomagnetic storm could be on the horizon.

It’s happened before. One of the most memorable instances was in 1989 when a solar eruption shocked Earth. The force of it was so strong that the Canadian Province of Quebec actually lost power for about nine hours. Not only does it impact Earth, but these geomagnetic storms also can harm astronauts working on the International Space Station.

It’s only the incredibly strong solar flares we should worry about. Those weaker solar flares are actually responsible for one of the most gorgeous phenomenons we can witness on Earth — the Northern Lights.

We may see a peak in this amazing sun activity in 2025. Luckily, the Solar Orbiter is flying as close as 26 miles from the sun to try to observe all this activity to then report back to Earth.