Seeing the sun, the moon and the stars, I said to myself, ‘Who could be the Master of these beautiful things?' I felt a great desire to see him, to know him and to pay him homage.- Saint Josephine Bakhita
The sun unleashed a monster eruption of super-hot plasma Friday (Nov. 16) in back-to-back solar storms captured on camera by a NASA spacecraft.
"The prominence plasma flows along a tangled and twisted structure of magnetic fields generated by the sun’s internal dynamo. An erupting prominence occurs when such a structure becomes unstable and bursts outward, releasing the plasma."
Friday's solar eruption does not appear to be aimed at Earth, so will likely have little effect on our planet. But that was not the case earlier this week when a powerful solar flare erupted on Monday (Nov. 12). That flare registered as an M6-class eruption, a moderate but still intense solar event.
The sun is currently in the middle of an active phase of its 11-year solar weather cycle. The current cycle is called Solar Cycle 24 and is expected to peak in 2013: