SDO image of the Halloween Sun
Credit: NASA/SDO

Our Creepy Sun

Our friendly Sun has a darker side. A creepy, sinister side that few can see. Look beyond the smiling visible mask that beams warmth and light upon us, and you see the Sun's twisted face. A face that can grow stormy and flare into anger at any moment. The Sun is now near the height of its madness, a crazed cycle that occurs every 11 years, and is beset by horrors: monstrous spots, shimmering loops of energy, worm-like filaments crawling across the face of the sun, and cvilization-ending eruptions. The extreme ultraviolet image above, taken with by the Solar Dynamics Observatory, shows particularly crazy regions of the Sun that glow in this high-energy light. These are regions where the Sun's magnetism gets tangled, creating locally intense magnetic loops which rip through the solar skin. Hot gas is confined by these loops and swirls in torment. So, the next calm sunny day, as you feel the pleasant warmth on your skin, glance skyward and remember the horrors that lie beneath the surface, just beyond your reckoning.
Published: October 27, 2014

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Page Author: Dr. Michael F. Corcoran
Last modified Sunday, 02-Nov-2014 03:41:59 EST