The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), in orbit high above the Earth, performs great feats of science—and produces great works of art too, as this gallery of images proves
Nov. 08, 2013
Solar Dynamics Observatory / NASA
When the SDO looked at the sun on July 17, 2013, there was a whole lot to see: a rapidly spreading disturbance in the Sun's magnetic field and a coronal mass ejection—which is exactly the burst of solar fireworks it sounds like—followed by a succession of bright coronal loops coiling out in a long line. The darkening near the top of the image is a zone of eruption where material is being pushed away. The images were taken in extreme ultraviolet light.