This is a picture of the sun's most violent eruption in 15 years (possibly because that comet didn't agree with him), which happened just a few days ago on April 12th and 13th. Amazingly, we all didn't die. Well at least I didn't, I haven't actually left the apartment since Monday. Hello? Is anybody out there? HELLO?!
The STEREO (Ahead) spacecraft caught this spectacular eruptive prominence in extreme UV light as it blasted away from the Sun (Apr. 12-13, 2010). This was certainly among the largest prominence eruptions seen by either the STEREO or SOHO missions. The length of the prominence appears to stretch almost halfway across the sun, about 500,000 miles. Prominences are cooler clouds of plasma that hover above the Sun's surface, tethered by magnetic forces. They are notoriously unstable and commonly erupt as this one did in a dramatic fashion.
There's a worthwhile video of the eruption after the jump, but I don't recommend watching it if you're the least bit worried about the end of the world because you'll probably flip your shit and end up running down the middle of the street naked screaming about how the sky is falling. So, yeah, if you're gonna do that I don't want you watching it. I want you watching it twice. Do it! DO IT NOW, SISSY!
Hit it for the video action.