New video provides an amazing view of a recent solar eruption captured by a NASA spacecraft orbiting the sun. Material can be seen bursting from the surface of the sun in an M-class coronal mass ejection.
What makes this footage particularly intriguing, said solar physicist Alex Young, is watching the collapse of material back into the sun.
"If you look closely," Young, of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, told the L.A. Times, "some of the material does not escape but instead gets captured by the sun's gravity and falls back."
The flare, which occurred Aug. 24, was rated in the M class -- the second-most powerful on a scale based on X-rays measured by the NOAA GOES satellites. Solar flares can cause radio blackouts on the side of the Earth the sun is illuminating, Young said. The coronal mass ejection -- or the plasma blown away from the sun after the flare -- can cause a geomagnetic storm if it reaches Earth.
"This event did not have any repercussions for Earth except that there was a very short radio blackout during the solar flare at the beginning of the eruption."
Young wrote a post on the eruption for the Sun Today.