Massive Chunk Of The Sun Has Broken Off And Formed A Tornado

A frightening video shows a piece of the Sun breaking off, and forming a tornado.

By Britta DeVore | Updated

the sun

Well, it’s Friday which means you’ve finally made it to the weekend, but we at GFR are here to say ‘not so fast!’ Just when you thought the galaxy that we call home couldn’t get more dangerous and terrifying, it does, with The Weather Channel reporting that a piece of the Sun has broken off and shaped itself into a tornado. In a Twitter post, which you can see below, Space Weather Specialist, Dr. Tamitha Skov, shared a video of the oddity that’s dazzling the brains of sun scientists everywhere.

As the video reveals, it’s just another hot day on the blazing ball of fire before pieces from the north pole of the Sun begin to break away. As the chunks come off, winds pick up and a swirling vortex is formed at the very top. Explaining what this could mean for the future of how we understand our life-giving star, Dr. Skov writes that the “implications” surrounding the latest discovery “cannot be overstated.”

The event happened at the beginning of the month of February 3 with researchers scrambling to gather any further information that they could about the latest leftfield move to come from the Sun. You see, while this is the first time that a vortex of this type has been spotted, that doesn’t mean it’s the only time it’s happened. With technology growing by leaps and bounds every day, it was at the tail end of 2021 that the James Webb Space Telescope made its debut onto the scene, shaping our ability to view the stars and farthest reaches of our galaxy.

biggest comet ever

The James Webb Space Telescope is the reason behind this recent Sun spotting, making the vortex as clear as day and allowing researchers to theorize what could be happening on the giant star. Due to the hydrogen and helium that blasted out from the center of the explosion, those looking into the fiery tornado believe that it all has something to do with the Sun’s magnetic field. If this were to be the case, it would be a lucky catch as it’s something that only happens every 11 years. 

In their report, The Weather Channel spoke with the deputy director at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, Scott McIntosh, who shared that although this is his first time seeing a vortex of this magnitude on the Sun, he’s not surprised in the slightest. As the solar physicist explains, this is because he’s spotted similar happenings during this point in the Sun’s solar cycle – specifically located at 55 degrees latitude. But, as McIntosh mentioned, it’s still unknown why this occurrence only happens once before disappearing for years only to reappear in the same region. 

Whatever the case may be, we’re lucky to have the best brains in the scientific community looking out for us on this one. While other planets may be meeting their doom because of their sun, we hope ours just continues to help us stay alive even if it wants to give researchers a run for their money every once in a while.