SOHO’s LASCO C2 and C3 coronagraphs caught the action as three, separate coronal mass ejections (CMEs) blasted out in succession from the Sun (Dec. 12, 2010).
These were each distinct and unconnected events.
The first CME event (directly on the right) occurred when a magnetic filament erupted;
the second one erupted near the Sun’s north pole,
and the last CME erupted on the far side of the Sun.
Because all three eruptions occurred within a matter of hours, the coronagraph images suggest a single cloud, but that is not how it happened. None of the particle clouds seemed headed towards Earth. (credit: Steele Hill and SOHO from the SOHO Pick of the Week for 17 December 2010)
Here is a video of a C2 movie of the CMEs followed by a C3 movie.