A massive sun eruption on New Year’s Eve could have swallowed 20 earths.
According to NASA, the massive eruption extended more than about 150,000 miles out from the sun. But despite its massive size the eruption wasn’t too powerful. The blast did not have enough power to escape the sun’s gravity and was pulled back down to the surface of the sun.
NASA officials wrote in a statement:
“A solar eruption gracefully rose up from the sun on Dec. 31, 2012, twisting and turning. Magnetic forces drove the flow of plasma, but without sufficient force to overcome the sun’s gravity much of the plasma fell back into the sun. The length of the eruption extends about 160,000 miles out from the Sun. With Earth about 7,900 miles in diameter, this relatively minor eruption is about 20 times the diameter of our planet.”
NASA also recorded a video of the sun eruption, which lasted more than four hours, which they called a Solar Ballet.
Here’s a photo of the sun’s massive eruption on New Year’s day.