Posted Monday, Nov. 19, 2012, at 1:10 PM
Photo by SDO/NASA via Getty Images
The sun erupted last week with a massive "solar prominence" so large, it may have triggered a second eruption in one four-hour period.
Spectacular video captured by NASA shows what officials call red "loops of plasma" shooting from the sun's surface. The first eruption was so large that it expanded beyond the camera view of NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. The event followed a major solar flare last Monday.
Fortunately, the eruption wasn't aimed toward Earth. In certain cases, flares and eruptions from the sun can pose a threat to orbiting satellites, communications, navigation, and power systems on the ground.