The Sun spew out a solar tentacle about a half of million miles long between August 6th and 8th, 2012.
What is being called a "solar whip" was visible for about two days and was long enough to go around the earth about 20 times.
NASA explains what the solar whip is: "Filaments are simply cooler clouds of solar material that are tethered above the sun’s surface by unstable magnetic forces."
And, NASA's Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) onboard the probe Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) took a video of the attraction, which shows a darker strand shooting out from the Sun. And, near the end of the video the filament looks like it is breaking away while still maintaining its basic shape and length.
The caption of the video states, "On August 31, 2012 a filament collapsed in a spectacular way and the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) caught the action in dramatic detail in extreme ultraviolet light using the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA)."
And, "Long filaments like this one have been known to collapse with explosive results when they hit the stellar surface below. The segment in the 304 angstroms wavelength (red Sun) covers almost 3 hours."
Further, "A few days later, the CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) that you see here passed the Earth, causing a minor geomagnetic disturbance, which in turn caused a lowering of the maximum usable frequency on shortwave radio. Some aurora was also produced at higher latitudes. Additionally, a solar proton storm (minor in magnitude) was caused by this filament eruption. This proton event caused trans-polar radio communication problems."
For more on the story, please read the September 4, 2012 Fox News article "Sun spits out 'solar whip' half a million miles long".
It begins, "Looking more science fiction than just straight science, an amazing tentacle-like eruption on the face of the sun has been captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO)."