NASA scientists have discovered an eight lakh kilometres long ‘solar whip’ on the surface of the Sun and warned that some radiation from it is headed for Earth today.

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) captured a very long, whip-like solar filament in a long arc above the sun’s surface, the Daily Mail reported.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration space-weather prediction center estimates that a cloud of radiation from the eruption will reach Earth today.

The radiation cloud will create a minor to moderate geomagnetic storm, bringing the northern lights to parts of North America.

A ‘solar whip’ or filament is caused when a red glowing loop of plasma erupts, releasing the plasma out in huge loops hundreds of thousands of miles into space.

The image and associated video, which covers August 6-8, 2012 show the filament as a darker strand that has been in view for several days.

“Towards the end of the video part of the filament seems to break away, but its basic length and shape seem to have remained mostly intact,” NASA said.

(This article was published on September 4, 2012)
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