Photo by K. Reardon (Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, INAF) IBIS, DST, NSO
You wouldn’t want to get too near one of these “flowers.”
Each and every vein in the photo is as long as planet Earth and filled with hot gas moving across the Sun at about 30,000 miles an hour, held in place by nothing more than a magnetic field.
In this photo, thousands of spicules, as they’re known, are converging on a sunspot, seen at the bottom left of the photo, where they briefly take the shape of a flower. Each spicule lasts about five minutes until the gas peaks and falls back down to the Sun.
It’s not known exactly what determines the creation and dynamics of spicules.