Even NASA scientists have never seen anything like this.
These "Dark Fireworks," as NASA scientists have referred to them, weren't even noticed at first. In fact, according to the NASA report, it wasn't until scientists went back and looked at the footage one of their satellites had captured, that they even noticed the event took place.
"We'd never seen anything like it," says Alex Young, a solar physicist at the Goddard Space Flight Center. "Half of the sun appeared to be blowing itself to bits."
"In terms of raw power, this really was just a medium-sized eruption," says Young, "but it had a uniquely dramatic appearance caused by all the inky-dark material. We don't usually see that."
This was apparently considered a class M (medium) flare, but that doesn't mean it wasn't enormous. NASA continues:
The plasma blobs were as big as planets, many larger than Earth. They rose and fell ballistically, moving under the influence of the sun's gravity like balls tossed in the air, exploding "like bombs" when they hit the stellar surface.
You can see the explosion for yourself in the two incredible videos below.
WATCH (The Close-Up):
WATCH (A Stunning Full View):
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements.Learn more