Fortunately for Earth, the sun is 93 million miles away. For the past two days, magnetic prominences have been lifting off the surface of the sun big enough to swallow our entire planet. Philippe Tosi photographed this example on April 22nd from the Pyrennes mountains of France:
"It was a fantastic eruption," says Tosi.
"We are having a very active sun this week," agrees Jett Aguilar of Quezon City, the Philippines, who photographed two huge prominences yesterday. Bill Hrudey saw even more from his observatory in the Cayman Islands.
The face of the sun is peppered with sunspots--but none of them is active today. Astronomers with backyard solar telescopes are encouraged to monitor the edge. That's where the action is.