A coronal mass ejection (CME) erupted from just around the edge of the sun on May 1, 2013, in a gigantic rolling wave.
On the sun, the confined solar atmosphere can suddenly and violently release bubbles of gas and magnetic fields called coronal mass ejections. A large CME can contain a billion tons of matter that can be accelerated to several million miles per hour in a spectacular explosion. Solar material streams out through the interplanetary medium, impacting any planet or spacecraft in its path. CMEs are sometimes associated with flares but can occur independently.
This CME occurred on the sun’s limb and is not headed toward Earth.
The video, taken in extreme ultraviolet light by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), covers about two and a half hours.