Via Gawker comes this beautiful video, shot yesterday by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, of a gigantic solar prominence erupting on the Sun.
Despite being over 400,000 miles long, Discovery’s Bad Astronomy blog reassures us that Earth has little to fear from the tail of plasma:
First, there is very little danger to Earth from this event. Prominences like this tend to be local to the Sun, and collapse after a few hours. As far as I can tell, there are no flares or coronal mass ejections associated with this, which are what can hurt satellites and power grids here at home. So rest easy, and enjoy the beauty of this thing.