12,000 mile 'canyon of fire' erupts on Sun, shooting a blast at Earth

A 12,000 mile-long 'canyon of fire' has opened up on the surface of the Sun, causing a charged blast to be shot towards Earth.

1 minute & 22 seconds read time

On April 3, a 12,000 mile-long "canyon of fire" opened up on the surface of the sun, causing a coronal mass ejection (CME) to be shot towards Earth.

12,000 mile 'canyon of fire' erupts on Sun, shooting a blast at Earth 03

Officials from the UK weather forecaster Met Office said the sun experienced two "filament eruptions", with the first occurring on Sunday, April 3, and the second on Monday, April 4. Forecasters have confirmed that both eruptions have caused CMEs, which are waves of charged plasma ejected from the sun's atmosphere.

When a CME impacts Earth, it interacts with Earth's magnetic field, and that interaction between the charged particles from the sun and Earth's atmosphere can be seen in the form of auroras such as the southern/northern lights. Additionally, larger CMEs can cause many problems for Earth as they can interrupt satellite communications, power networks, GPS, and even electrical grids.

Read more: 17 solar flares cause Sun blast to hit Earth at nearly 2 million mph

As for the coming CMEs, officials can only confirm that one will impact Earth, with further study needing to be done to confirm the direction of the second CME. Space weather forecasters believe that the CME will impact Earth on April 6 at 10 AM EDT and cause a mild geomagnetic storm that NOAA would categorize as a G1 or G2 on the five-point scale.

Read more: Auroras light up the US after 'cannibal' Sun eruption slams into Earth

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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