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This image, acquired by the LASCO C2 coronagraph instrument on the ESA-NASA SOHO spacecraft, was taken 8 January 2002 and shows a widely spreading coronal mass ejection (CME) as it blasts more than a billion tons of matter out into space at millions of kilometers per hour.
This C2 image was turned 90 degrees so that the blast seems to be pointing down. A second image, from the EIT disk imager on a different day was enlarged and superimposed on the C2 image so that it filled the occulting disk for effect.