Beautiful Solar Flare Fails To Escape Sun's Gravitational Field (VIDEO)

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It was a valiant attempt but this huge solar flare didn't quite have enough velocity to escape the clutches of the Sun's gravitational field.

Observed by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) on Monday, only plasma at the very tip broke free.

Solar flares are caused by massive releases of energy on the Sun's surface which eject clouds of electrons, ions and atoms.

solar flare sun

The Sun will reach its maximum solar activity later this year, the peak of an 11-year cycle

Often these break through the corona of the Sun into space in what is called a coronal mass ejection (CME).

CMEs often head towards Earth, hitting the atmosphere around one to five days later.

Relatively small CMEs manifest in the the stunning aurora borealis or Northern lights.

Larger CMEs can have potentially more destructive effects such as the one that hit last month and caused a radio blackout.

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