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Solar flare could swallow the Earth

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) has captured a gorgeous image of a massive eruption that could engulf the Earth several times over.

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(Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/SDO)

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) has captured a gorgeous image of a massive eruption that could engulf the Earth several times over.

On the night of 31 August, NASA reported, a filament of solar material, which had been in the Sun's atmosphere, erupted at a speed of roughly 1450 kilometres per second.

And, although it didn't erupt directly towards the Earth, it did have an effect. The coronal mass ejection, or CME, came into contact with the Earth's magnetosphere, causing an aurora borealis phenomenon to appear over Canada.

Below, you can see the size of the CME compared to the size of the Earth. You can watch a video of the eruption and see a picture of the aurora here. Spectacular.

(Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/SDO)