The tornado-like eruptions of super-hot plasma were spotted by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which is constantly recording high-definition videos of the sun.
The sun tornado video shows swirling fountains of plasma creeping across the surface of the sun during a 30-hour period between Feb. 7 and 8. But unlike tornadoes on Earth, which are wind-driven phenomena, the sun's plasma tornadoes are shaped by the powerful magnetic field of our star.
"An active region rotating into view provides a bright backdrop to the gyrating streams of plasma," SDO mission scientists explained in a video description. "The particles are being pulled this way and that by competing magnetic forces. They are tracking along strands of magnetic field lines."
NASA shows off solar tornadoes (video)
Posted on Wednesday, Feb 22 2012 @ 16:54 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Space.com highlights a new video from NASA that captured amazing solar twisters blowing across the surface of the sun.