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Published on Jun 27, 2012
More than 10,000 magnetic super tornadoes -- each as large as a continent on Earth -- are now thought to storm across the sun's surface at any moment.
According to a new study in Nature, each solar tornado lasts about 13 minutes, can spin more than 9,000 miles per hour and has a temperature of roughly 1 million degrees Kelvin (the magnetic field lines carry along and accelerate hot plasma).
The twisters may be a key step in shuttling energy from the sun's photosphere, or surface, up into its wispy, 2-million-degree-Kelvin corona.
Video: Copyright of Sven Wedemeyer-Böhm et al., 2012 Distributed with permission by Sven Wedemeyer-Böhm (http://folk.uio.no/svenwe/)