<p>A huge loop of plasma erupts from the left side of the sun, as seen from Earth, in a new picture from NASA's <a href="http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/">Solar Dynamics Observatory</a> spacecraft taken on Monday. The release of the so-called solar prominence was accompanied by a medium-strength solar flare.</p><p>The eruptions also sent out a cloud of charged particles known as a coronal mass ejection, or CME. These invisible clouds can cause auroras and even electrical outages when aimed at Earth. (See <a href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2011/08/110803-solar-flare-storm-electricity-grid-risk/">"As Sun Storms Ramp Up, Electric Grid Braces for Impact."</a>)</p>

Solar Tsunami

A huge loop of plasma erupts from the left side of the sun, as seen from Earth, in a new picture from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft taken on Monday. The release of the so-called solar prominence was accompanied by a medium-strength solar flare.

The eruptions also sent out a cloud of charged particles known as a coronal mass ejection, or CME. These invisible clouds can cause auroras and even electrical outages when aimed at Earth. (See "As Sun Storms Ramp Up, Electric Grid Braces for Impact.")

Image courtesy SDO/NASA

Space Pictures This Week: Sun Tsunami, Hubble Spider, More

The sun spits a plasma cloud, Hubble peers at a tarantula's heart, a shuttle gets a new home, and more in the week's best space pictures.

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