A NASA spacecraft records a magnificent solar eruption.
On May 27, 2014, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, spacecraft captured a burst of superheated gas, called plasma, gushing from the sun. Such eruptions happen frequently and result from the dynamic magnetic field lines that extend into the sun's atmosphere. Each event can release a huge amount of energy and send streams of million-degree plasma soaring outward. The ejected material either escapes the sun’s gravitational pull and ripples through space or falls back toward the surface. On this occasion, a river of plasma was seen rising and descending above the sun’s limb over a period of two hours. Watch the video to see the event unfold.