Okay, so the sun isn't technically made of fire. It's an enormous ball of superheated plasma that only looks like a flaming orb — or, in the case of the above video, Sauron's eye.
In late September, a massive magnetic filament roughly 200,000 miles long burst forth from the sun's atmosphere, leaving behind what NASA dubbed a "canyon of fire."
NASA created the stunning footage by piecing together images captured by satellites over a two-day period, on September 29 and 30. The varying colors reflect different wavelengths, which are used to observe material at different temperatures — for example, the yellow images show matter at around one million degrees Fahrenheit.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why all drugs should be legal. (Yes, even heroin.)
- How to trim $500 from your monthly spending
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- Comic-Con 2014: Everything we learned about Avengers 2, Batman v. Superman, and more
- 7 ideas from ancient thinkers that will improve your modern life
- Are there too many good shows on television?
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- The big, gaping hole in the liberal policy arsenal
- The weird obsession that's ruining the GOP
- 7 things the world's happiest people do every day
Subscribe to the Week