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Solar eruption leaves "canyon of fire"


Daniel Martins
Digital Reporter

Sunday, October 27, 2013, 1:02 PM -

Those long, flickering lines you see shimmering on the surface of the sun in the video down below are magnetic filaments - and they're 320,000 km long.

As they ripped through the sun's atmosphere, they left behind a massive "canyon of fire," breaking up what's otherwise a very tranquil solar scene.

NASA spotted the phenomenon late September and released the images and video last week.

Image: NASA/SDO

Image: NASA/SDO

Despite what it looks like, the sun isn't actually made of fire, but rather supercharged gas called plasma. 

That explosion effect is the plasma exploding as as the filaments whip through.

The image and video are in false colour, seen through special filters by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory.

You can read a full explanation of what the colours mean here.

For wicked weather here on Earth, check out the latest Force of Nature.

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