As people around the world rang in the New Year to celebrate Earth's latest trip around the sun Monday night, our closest star marked the occasion with some fireworks of its own — a dazzling solar eruption.
The space fireworks occurred on New Year's Eve (Dec. 31) during a four-hour eruption on the sun. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured a video of the solar event. The video shows a bright plume of super-magnetic plasma erupting from the sun's surface.
"A very nice display of solar activity — it's a New Year's Eve Ballet," SDO officials wrote in a video description posted on YouTube by the mission mascot Camilla Corona SDO, a public outreach effort.