Huge solar tornado the height of 14 Earths spotted on sun

It soared to a height of approximately 75,000 miles (120,000 kilometers).
Mrigakshi Dixit
The 'north pole' solar tornado
The 'north pole' solar tornado


Our magnificent sun is a massive ball of plasma, and some of the most volatile phenomena occur in its atmosphere. 

Recently, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) observed a tornado whirling near the sun's North Pole. Reportedly, the height of boiling plasma grew to be nearly equivalent to 14 Earths combined, implying it could be the largest in the entire solar system.

The odd occurrence: solar tornado

Tornadoes on Earth are fueled by wind, whereas tornadoes on the Sun are shaped by magnetism.

The sun is a fiery, massive ball of boiling gas and plasma made up of hot, charged particles. As these move around the sun, they generate magnetic fields that twist and form a spiral – eventually erupting vast clouds of plasma into surrounding space. 

This tornado-like occurrence lasted three weeks before finally collapsing. According to SpaceWeather, the rotating filament began expanding on March 14 and exploded on March 18 in a "cloud of magnetized gas."

It soared to a height of approximately 75,000 miles (120,000 kilometers) or 14 Earths.

The solar tornado's demise churned out plasma into the surrounding space. However, no damage was done to the Earth. 

The solar event captured from Earth

Many amateur astronomers captured this fiery formation by pointing their telescopes at the sun's north pole.

"This 14-Earths-tall swirling column of plasma was raining moon-sized gobs of incandescent material on the sun," astrophotographer Andrew McCarthy tweeted.

"I can't imagine a more hellish place," he added. 

Another individual, Apollo Lasky, also composed a short video using images from SDO. 

"This thing was twisting and growing for three days. I've never seen anything like it in all my years of watching the sun. It never stops--amazing!" Apollo told

The sun's activity has recently increased. There are six visible sunspots, according to the UK space weather report. One of the largest may generate solar flares and plasma ejections in the coming days, potentially affecting space weather. 

In addition, two coronal holes have been discovered in the sun's upper atmosphere. These could send large amounts of solar wind toward Earth. Thereby supercharging Northern Lights at higher latitudes.

The sun is gradually reaching the peak of its 11-year solar cycle, and these events will continue to happen now and then. However, these occurrences are mostly harmless to the planet.

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