A huge tentacle of burning solar plasma stretching 300,000 miles long and lifting as high as 100,000 miles above the surface of the sun has captured the interest of many observers.
The enormous spectacle first appeared during February 17 and has been twisting, dissipating, and re-energizing in size ever since. It is still visible today.
The magnitude of the event is amazing in that it dwarfs the size of the Earth in comparison.
The sun has recently called attention back to itself once again, as it fired off a 4-year record breaking X2-class solar flare a few days ago, and immediately hurled a CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) directly towards the Earth.
At the same time, a new large sunspot region 1160/1161 has developed and threatens to produce flares and CME activity over the coming days as it too begins to point directly toward the Earth.
To those that are interested in watching the activities of the sun, it has been very active of late, while solar-cycle 24 itself remains behind schedule and is overall less active than originally forecast, so far. We’ll see what the months ahead bring.
Pete Lawrence of digitalsky.org.uk has captured a gallery of stunning photos of the sun while using his own solar-scope equipment, including a startling image of the entire sun immediately during one of the breakdowns-dissapations of the monster tentacle.
Full Resolution image of the sun, with tentacle dissipation as captured by Pete Lawrence