What you see in this amazing video really is just a coincidence. A comet smashed into one side of the Sun just as a massive explosion ignited on the other side. Two entirely unrelated events...but they sure look awesome together.

We've seen some videos of comets smashing into the Sun before, but this video is on another level entirely. Not only is this the clearest view yet of a comet's final approach before crashing into the Sun, it's also followed by a huge coronal mass ejection on the other side of our star. Again, it's all a coincidence that one happened right after the other - these are simply two relatively common events that just happened to line up perfectly, and the results are nothing short of spectacular.

A NASA astronomer adds:

This past weekend a comet dove toward the Sun and was followed very quickly by a Coronal Mass Ejection (CMEs) from the other side of the Sun. The first two sequences in the above video shows the spectacular unfolding of events as seen by the Sun-orbiting SOHO satellite, while the same events were also captured by both Sun-orbiting STEREO satellites.

Now sungrazer comets that break up as they pass near the Sun are not all that rare — hundreds have been cataloged over the past few years. CMEs are even more common, with perhaps three lesser events occurring even during the eight hours of the above time-lapse movie. Therefore, the best bet of solar scientists is that the two events were unrelated. Another basis for this judgment is that CMEs are caused by rapid changes in the Sun's magnetic field, changes that a small comet seem unlikely to make. Such coincidences are even more likely during periods of high activity on the Sun's surface — like now.

Via NASA.