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Watch a 200,000-mile 'canyon of fire' sweep across the sun
A stunning reminder of the sun's pent-up power

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.

Jon Terbush is a staff writer for TheWeek.com covering politics, sports, and other things he finds interesting. He has previously written for Talking Points Memo, Raw Story, and Business Insider.

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