A solar flare to dwarf the Earth

On Sunday, a sunspot labeled AR1593 unleashed an impressive eruption on the surface of the sun that highlights the massive scale of the universe. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded a glowing light bulb-like billowing tower of plasma that was more than 100,000 miles across.

To put the size of this eruption in perspective, the circumference of the Earth at the equator is 25,000 miles, and if you dug a tunnel at the equator that went straight down through the center of the Earth, the tunnel would be just around 8,000 miles long.
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Photo by: NASA/SDO/Screenshot by CNET / Caption by:

Light bulb-shaped plasma display

On Sunday at around 2:30 a.m. UT (that's about 7:30 p.m. PT Saturday), an active region to the left side of the sun produced this beautiful light bulb-shaped plasma display.
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Photo by: NASA/SDO/Screenshot by CNET / Caption by:

From left side of sun

The light bulb-shaped plasma display can be seen on the left side of the sun in this image taken by the Solar Dynamics Observatory on Sunday.
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Photo by: NASA/SDO/Screenshot by CNET / Caption by:

Closer up

Another view of the left side of the sun.
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Photo by: NASA/SDO/Screenshot by CNET / Caption by:

Light bulb plasma display

Another look at the light bulb display on the sun.
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Photo by: NASA/SDO/Screenshot by CNET / Caption by:

Light bulb is on

The massive solar flare and light-bulb shaped billow of plasma.
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Photo by: NASA/SDO/Screenshot by CNET / Caption by:
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