A giant Solar Eruption the size of 20 Earths, on Dec. 31, 2012. The length of the eruption extends about 160,000 miles out from the Sun. The Earth is superimposed on this image to give readers a sense of the scale. Image © NASA/SDO/Steele Hill
With Earth about 7,900 miles in diameter, this relatively minor eruption is about 20 times the diameter of our planet.
Magnetic forces drove the flow of plasma, but without sufficient force to overcome the sun’s gravity much of the plasma fell back into the sun.