A stunning new Nasa image shows an extremely rare pattern streaming from the sun at close to 7,000 miles per hour (11,200 km/h). A dark snake-like filament can be seen erupting from the star, but while the formations are normally stretched out like a strand, this one is circular like a whirlpool. This is because it is being yanked back by the star’s staggering gravitational pull – which is about 27.9 times that

of Earth. The rare sight, captured by Nasa’s orbiting Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), has only been seen a ‘handful of times’, the agency said. ‘Solar filaments are clouds of charged particles that float above the sun, tethered to it by magnetic forces,’ Nasa said in a statement. ‘They are usually elongated and uneven strands. Only a handful of times before have we seen one shaped like a circle. MORE