Our life-giving Sun isn’t just a ball of roiling hot plasma and gas, sitting still in space.
In fact, it often flares in a spectacular fashion with sudden intense brightness and electromagnetic radiation, or hurls high-energy plasma out into space in a coronal mass ejection (CME).
Here are 5 breathtaking images of these solar eruptions
The European Space Agency and NASA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory witnessed this coronal mass ejection (CME) on Feb. 27, 2000. The Sun itself is blocked out by a coronagraph instrument on the spacecraft.
This CME image from Oct. 7, 2012, captured by two instruments on NASA's STEREO spacecraft, shows another eruption from the Sun's base out into space.
This stunning video shows the strongest solar flare recorded in the last decade, captured in September 2017.
NASA's STEREO imager captured this incredible CME on March 5, 2013.
Although not technically a solar eruption, this image shows how gas heated to millions of degrees in the Sun's atmosphere emits high-energy X-rays into space.