Watch an intense solar storm erupt on the surface of the sun

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured video of a solar storm, and radiation could be headed towards Earth

Sarah Gray
September 4, 2014 2:00AM (UTC)

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured stunning images of a violent solar storm, which occurred on Tuesday. The video below shows a wave of "dark plasma," which had been slinking around the sun, erupting on the surface.

It is unclear if there was a coronal mass ejection (CME) -- or burst of plasma -- which could send radiation hurtling towards Earth.


However, Spaceweather.com is reporting that there could be a CME headed our way: "According to NOAA analysts, the CME could deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field on Sept. 6th."

Powerful CMEs can knock out high frequency communications, cause blackouts and or fry satellites. In 2012 Earth had a near miss with a particularly powerful CME, which could have caused widespread disruption.

This CME is not predicted to be "particularly fast or powerful," according to Spaceweather.com. Yet it's effects may still possibly be seen on Earth in the form of a stunning auroras in the Southern and Northern hemispheres. Watch the storm below, via Space.com:


Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on innovation. Follow @sarahhhgray or email sgray@salon.com.

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