Fire and brimstone!

by Rob Marciano
CNN Meteorologist 

The thing that powers all that is living on Earth gets more fascinating the more we learn about it.

Our sun.

Things we know:

–It’s big (over 1 million times the size of the Earth)
–It’s hot (about 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit at its surface)

We also know what it’s made out of, its mass, how far away it is, and – contrary to what my boy Aristotle used to think – we know it’s the center of our solar system.

What we DON’T know is too long a list to mention here.

But the Solar Dynamics Laboratory (aka SDO) is helping unravel some mysteries.

The Earth-orbiting satellite launched two years ago is providing some REALLY cool images of the solar surface.

In fact, NASA just released some of the coolest stuff I’ve seen.

I suppose part of the reason I’m diggin’ on this so much is ’cause the swirls of fire look like TORNADOES.

Now there’s no real atmospheric “weather” on the sun, so what you see here is totally different from what Dorothy had to deal with in Kansas.

Here, competing magnetic forces create the vortices where hot plasma swirls upward like a tornado or perhaps more accurately, a dust devil.

Keep in mind this video [which you can view above] is a time-lapse of 30 hours, so it has been sped up dramatically.

But consider the size and height of these hot plasma “tornadoes,” just one of these is nearly large enough to engulf our entire planet Earth!

Now THAT’S some fire and brimstone baby!

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