When it comes to truly awesome things, it’s hard to find anything that can compete with our sun, that great big ball of plasma at the center of our solar system. The incredible images seen here show a massive eruption that took place on the sun just a few months ago:

"On August 31, 2012 a long filament of solar material that had been hovering in the sun’s atmosphere, the corona, erupted out into space at 4:36 p.m. EDT. The coronal mass ejection, or CME, traveled at over 900 miles per second. The CME did not travel directly toward Earth, but did connect with Earth’s magnetic environment, or magnetosphere, causing aurora to appear on the night of Monday, September 3."

If you want a better idea of just how exceptionally massive the sun is and how large that eruption was, take a close look at the second photo where you’ll see a superimposed image of Earth for size comparison. 

Visit the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center flickr page to view more images and video of this awesome solar event.

Quoted text via NASA, photos by NASA/GSFC/SDO

[via Twisted Sifter]