Work-related searches this week has led me to the gallery pages of NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. The SDO is an observational satellite in a geostationary orbit that monitors the Sun with a variety of cameras and other imaging equipment. Some of the recent spectacular photos of solar prominences have been captured by the SDO, examples of which may be found in the project’s gallery where you can also see short movies of solar eruptions and other events. (There’s also an SDO YouTube channel. For a start try “Fiery Looping Rain on the Sun“.) I always find the Sun to be a combination of the incredible, the weird and the terrifying: many of those coronal mass ejections dwarf the Earth. Pictures such as these make you reconsider how much we take our local star for granted.