Solar Tornado Rips Through the Corona: Video

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You’ve seen the photos, now you can watch a video of the monster solar tornado that was spotted wreaking magnetic havoc in the sun’s superheated atmosphere last September.

During a Discovery News interview, co-discoverer Xing Li, solar physicist at Aberystwyth University, described this magnetic twister as a “beast” that sucks solar plasma high into the corona, accelerating it to 300,000 kilometers (190,000 miles) per hour. As seen here, the structure grows to a width of several Earths.

This video, created from observations captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, were lovingly assembled by solar astronomer and coronal physics expert Scott McIntosh of the High Altitude Observatory (HAO) in Boulder, Colo., using the online Helioviewer Project.

For more, read the Discovery News article “Monster Solar Tornadoes Discovered.”

Video credit: NASA/SDO, The Helioviewer Project, Xing Li and Huw Morgan (Aberystwyth University), and Scott McIntosh (High Altitude Observatory)