Wednesday, July 13, 2011

June 7, 2011 Solar Eruption

Here is a wonderful video of a solar flare recorded by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) that occurred on June 7, 2011. From the Watts Up With That? blog:
“We’d never seen anything like it,” says Alex Young, a solar physicist at the Goddard Space Flight Center. “Half of the sun appeared to be blowing itself to bits.”

NASA has just released new high-resolution videos of the event recorded by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). The videos are large, typically 50 MB to 100 MB, but worth the wait to download. ... A close-up of the June 7th eruption shows dark blobs of plasma falling ballistically toward the surface of the sun. [99 MB Quicktime] [more]

“IN terms of raw power, this really was just a medium-sized eruption,” says Young, “but it had a uniquely dramatic appearance caused by all the inky-dark material. We don’t usually see that.”

Solar physicist Angelos Vourlidas of the Naval Research Lab in Washington DC calls it a case of “dark fireworks.”

There are more details and more links to movies at the Watts Up With That? site.

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