Watch, incredibly, as a NASA video shows the biggest-recorded solar tornado that recently popped up in September.
What the bean, yo?! There’s tornadoes in space?! Well drat. There goes any plans I had for inter-galactic space travel this weekend, not with these cyclone monsters on the loose – I heard the rings of Saturn are quite nice this time of year too. And I don’t care if they appear just on our Sun’s surface either, they give me the creeps regardless of where they are.
NASA cameras back in September of 2011 caught this particular solar spiral in its wild dance, which have been regular phenomenons on the Sun for decades (news to me!) Here’s the thing that really makes this one stand out from the pack – the one being filmed here was an amazing 124,000 miles tall according to astronomers, the biggest they’ve ever seen. In fact, they don’t even know the reason as to why that is. Better not be those pesky doom-and-gloom Mayans. Ugh, haven’t they riled up enough nonsense?
Now, using the slightly terrifying “How Many Earths Can You Fit In This” Measurement, NASA guesstimated that a 100 Earths could fit in this one solar tornado. Wow. And now you know why I’m so scared.
Typically, tornadoes on Earth are created in a Thunderstorm whenever a rising column of warm, moist air starts to rotate in a vertical fashion. For the solar variety meanwhile, they are only similar in shape, but are comprised of a helical-shaped magnetic field sprouting from the Sun’s exterior. As a sudden burst of plasma climbs up these structures like mouse up a pant leg, the natural spinning of the magnetic spire helps give the tornado form.
Okay, astronomy lesson over for today students – I’m in a good mood, so no pop quiz. Just hit play on the video above before you to see this space-weather anomaly in full motion.
The Nintendo 3DS celebrates turning one, and we gift you an absolutely sweet list of ten games every owner of the Nintendo handheld should have within their collection. Hint: one of them is Super Mario 3D Land. Also, if you’re planning to get your April Fools’ Day prank-on, Walyou has the best tips for pulling a fast one on your friends and co-workers.