A NASA satellite caught a stunning video of an enormous plasma twister rising from the sun's surface, reports said.
The solar twister occurred on July 12, when an eruption of magnetic plasma called a prominence rose up above the sun, swirled gracefully, then split into roughly four strands and faded over a two hour period, posted NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory Web site. The twirling eruption swirled up to a height of 93,206 miles (150,000 kilometers) and assumed a certain fluidity that resembled an angel.
The height of the solar twister was roughly between "10 to 12 Earths", according to solar astrophysicist C. Alex Young of NASA's Goddard Space Flight. Young also added that the 'Angel' like appearance of the sun was largely a matter of perspective.
The Solar Dynamics Observatory captured the eruption from an angle that showed the prominence's rise up from the sun's surface. From a different angle the observatory could have captured the whole prominence rise from the sun's surface, loop over and then close again, added the report.
A prominence is a large, bright feature extending outward from the sun's surface, often in a loop shape. Prominences are anchored to the sun's surface in the photosphere, and extend outwards into the sun's corona. It is made up of cooler plasma that have a composition similar to that of chromospheres.
An archetypal prominence extends up to several thousands of kilometers; the largest on record was observed by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) in 2010 and is estimated at over 430,000 miles (700,000 kilometers) long. A prominence can be seen with an unaided eye during a total eclipse. Scientists are currently reseraching into how and why prominences are formed.
To view the video of the solar twister resembling an 'Angel' go to SPACE.com.