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Spacecraft records video of tornadoes on the sun

New video released by NASA shows Earth-sized tornadoes on the sun's surface.
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Written by Sarah Korones on

A NASA spacecraft captured a mesmerizing video of tornadoes on the surface of the sun earlier this month.

Recently posted on NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) website, the video shows the sun’s plasma whipping around the star’s magnetic field for 30 hours between Feb. 7 and 8.

NPR reports:

Terry Kucera, a solar physicist with NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, told Fox News that the tornado might be as large as the Earth itself and have gusts up to 300,000 miles per hour. By comparison, the strongest tornadoes on earth, F5 storms, clock wind speeds at a relatively paltry (though incredibly destructive) 300 mph.

The video was released to mark the second year anniversary of the spacecraft’s mission. The $850 million satellite is on a five-year mission to record videos of the sun and more thoroughly understand the star’s influence on Earth.

Video: NASA/SDO

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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