Fifteen times the size of the Earth: Astrophotographer captures a giant plasma explosion on the Sun

Argentine astrophotographer Eduardo Schaberger Poupeau has published a very spectacular image of the Sun. It demonstrates the gigantic plasma release it has produced.

A jet of plasma released from the south pole of the Sun on February 17, 2024. Source: Eduardo Schaberger Poupeau

The Sun is now approaching the maximum of the current activity cycle. More and more spots and active regions appear on its surface, and it increasingly produces flares and coronal mass ejections.

Despite this, the ejection photographed by an Argentine photographer is a rather rare event. The fact is that most solar flares originate from spots near the equator of the star, and almost never from the poles. The magnetic field there is so strong that it usually suppresses their formation. But sometimes there are exceptions.

The release occurred on February 17. The length of the plasma jet generated by the Sun was 200 thousand km, which was fifteen times larger than the diameter of the Earth. As Eduardo Schaberger Poupeau noted, he had to move the camera to fit into the frame. Eventually, the plasma broke away from the star and flew into space in the form of a giant cloud (such events are called coronal mass ejections). Since the ejection was made from the area of the pole, it was not directed towards our planet.

Earlier, we talked about how the Solar Orbiter probe captured an increase in solar activity.

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