NASA has released stunning images of a solar filament bursting out of the sun.  The “elongated solar filament,” extended almost half the sun's visible hemisphere, according to NASA, and erupted into space on April 28 and 29 in a large burst of bright plasma.

Filaments are unstable strands of solar material suspended above the sun by magnetic forces. The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) satellite, which is run by NASA and the European Space Agency, captured the eruption.

SOHO's Large Angle Spectrometric Coronagraph (LASCO) telescopes use an "occulter disk" to block light directly from the sun and create an artificial eclipse within the instruments.

“Solar astronomers around the world had their eyes on this unusually large filament and kept track as it erupted,” said NASA, in a statement.