In this image — dubbed the Fire Breather, the sun can be seen hiccuping up a large, complex coronal mass ejection, all the way back from January of 2002. This image effectively caused seasoned solar physicists to drop their jaws at the mere sight of its glory.
An instrument developed for the SOHO spacecraft observed the solar plasma blasting into the corona – or the atmosphere – of our parent star. The plain blue disk in this image was used to block out the Sun and the immediate area right around it, giving the space craft the ability to observe solar phenomena.
According to scientists, “areas of white indicate the greatest intensity of matter; the reds somewhat less; blues, even less. An extreme ultraviolet image of the Sun (blue) was superimposed on the foreground to give a sense of scale.”