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Pictures of Earth movers

Extraordinary pictures of solar 'tornado' as large as the Earth moving at 300,000mph

Extreme Machines Earth Movers Pictures - Giant Shovel Digging

These amazing pictures, captured by a NASA satellite, show a gigantic tornado moving across the sun.

The tornado is larger than it might look - in fact, it is probably bigger than the Earth, and could extend hundreds of thousands of miles out into space.

And while its progress over the sun's surface seems almost stately, it is moving at 300, 000 miles per hour.

Twister: This tornado, which is as large as the Earth, is moving at 300, 000mph across the Sun

The extraordinary phenomenon - which cannot yet be fully explained by scientists - was filmed by Nasa's Solar Dynamics Observatory over a 30-hour period earlier this month.

That satellite, known as the SDO, is in the middle of a five-year mission to monitor how solar activity affects the Earth, particularly changes in the sun's magnetic field.

While the tornado - called a 'solar prominence' by scientists - looks very similar to twisters here on Earth, its origins are completely different.

Rather than being the result of atmospheric pressure, the solar activity comes from fluctuations in the sun's magnetism.

Powerful: But scientists have not yet cracked all the mysteries of this unusual magnetic phenomenon

However, researchers cannot explain much more than that - Nasa's Terry Kucera told Fox News that she and her colleagues were 'still looking to understand what’s happening with these things'.

The tornado, at 15, 000 degrees Fahrenheit (8, 000C), is much cooler than its surroundings, which are around 2million degrees.

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