1 million-mile-long plasma plume shoots out of the sun in stunning photo

A false-color composite image of a coronal mass ejection, measuring around 1 million miles in length, firing away from the sun on Sept. 24. (Image credit: Andrew McCarthy/@cosmic_background)

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An astrophotographer has captured a hauntingly beautiful image of a massive plume of plasma shooting out of the sun. The fiery filament, known as a coronal mass ejection (CME), extended into space to a distance of more than 1 million miles (1.6 million kilometers) from the solar surface, according to the photographer.

The image was captured Sept. 24 by professional astrophotographer and Arizona resident Andrew McCarthy (opens in new tab)and he shared the stunning view on Reddit on Sept. 25 in the subreddit r/space (opens in new tab). The CME was part of a minor solar storm — G-1 class, the lowest category on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Geomagnetic Storm Scale — and was pointed away from Earthaccording to SpaceWeather.com (opens in new tab).

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