Cataclysmic solar event ! This was today ! April 16th !


When I first met Garik Israelian, the eminent Armenian astronomer who recently organised the Starmus Festival in Tenerife, and later become a great friend to me, he had an idea for a disaster movie. This was what drew us together. What happened today on the surface of our Sun looks very much like the way the film might have opened …


An incredible Solar Flare reared up under the influence of a giant magnetic field, making a vast loop of incandescent plasma which then burst, ejecting material out into the Solar system. This time it did not come in our direction, so there is no disaster, but it’s big enough to make me wonder whether it is only a matter of time before the Earth feels the full force of an event like this. Awesome.


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