See The Sun Spit Out A Terrifying Tornado

A sun tornado was discovered that is 14 Earths tall.

By Robert Scucci | Updated

If you thought the plots of Twister and Sharknado were terrifying, then you’re not going to believe what we’re about to tell you. NASA‘s Solar Dynamics Observatory discovered a sun tornado that’s 14 Earths (75,000 miles) tall on March 18, 2023. Arizona Based Astrophotographer, Andrew McCarthy was able to capture the stunning footage, if you want to see the massive sun tornado from a safe distance.

But rest assured, Earth is safe, as this sun tornado is more of a common occurrence than we think. According to experts, this sun tornado is what happens when the sun approaches the peak of its 11-year solar cycle, which will conclude sometime in 2025. But the fiery imagery is absolutely terrifying, if we had to weigh in!

So what causes these sun tornadoes, and do we ever have to worry about their impact on Earth? These cyclone patterns are caused by magnetic field lines on the surface of the Sun. What happens, is that rapidly rotating magnetic fields latch onto superheated hydrogen and helium gas, and these magnetic fields spin the ionized gas into a twister formation.

The reason for this magnetic activity was explained in a 2013 study that stated a similar 2011 sun tornado was preceded by three separate solar flares that were close by, and within 10 hours of each other. And experts speculate that these flares weakened the magnetic field in the area, creating a coronal cavity that caused the gas to spin upward.

What then happens, is that the sun tornado grows for a period of time, three days in this most recent case, before collapsing into a cloud of magnetized gas. Though this particular sun tornado is said to have launched plasma and solar material into the solar system, it’s been reported that this plasma will not have earthly implications.

the sun

Moving on from sun tornadoes, we also need to talk about the “plasma waterfall” that was discovered on the sun’s south pole on March 9. This falling wall of plasma was also alarmingly large, standing 62,000 miles tall. While phenomena like this are quite intimidating, these events typically collapse inwardly because of the strong hold from the magnetic fields at the sun’s poles.

As for ways the Sun’s behavior will affect Earth, you’ll be pleased to know that the Solar Dynamics Observatory has recently shared photos of a “coronal hole” on the sun, which is an area of the Sun that is cooler and darker than the rest of the surface. These holes are known to generate winds, but not sun tornadoes, and these winds will be earthbound.

But you don’t need to run to the fall-out shelter in this case but rather grab your star-gazing equipment. NASA has stated that these winds are known to cause a particularly vibrant and stunning display of aurora borealis in the northern hemisphere when they occur. We felt the need to share this information with you, after scaring you with the frightening images of March 18’s sun tornado.