A solar tornado has been shown tearing across the surface of the sun for 40 hours. Temperatures in the tornado reached about 2.8 million degrees C. (or 5 million degrees F), Nasa said.
A statement from Nasa said: "A small, but complex mass of plasma gyrated and spun about over the course of 40 hours above the surface of the Sun. It was stretched and pulled back and forth by powerful magnetic forces but not ripped apart in this sequence. The temperature of the ionized iron particles observed in this extreme ultraviolet wavelength of light was about 2.8 million degrees C."
The time-lapse video of the event was released by the Solar Dynamics Observatory. It took place between 1 and 3 September and reached around 70,000km in height – around five times the diameter of Earth - Professor Iver Cairns, a solar physicist at the University of Sydney, told Fairfax Media.
Unlike tornadoes on Earth, the one seen on the sun is created when there is an injection of plasma shooting up spiral shaped magnetic structures that are rooted to the solar surface at both ends. The plasma is guided along the structure's magnetic field, resulting in the rotation of the material.