Space Photos of the Week: Solar Plasma Keeps On Churning, Won’t Chill Out

You can’t help but see the sun, given its size (864,000 miles in diameter, or big enough to hold 1.3 million Earths) and luminosity. But you can’t really see the sun. Not with the naked eye, anyway. It’s just too bright.

For that, you need something like the Solar Dynamics Observatory. Only then can you appreciate the wonder of the large flaming ball of gas that dictates the rhythm of our lives. NASA launched the observatory in 2010 to study the sun, and it recently snapped this remarkable image of solar plasma churning on the sun’s surface. To get a sense of scale, check out that prominence on the right side of the photo. It’s several times taller than the Earth’s diameter.

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