Archive for Solar Dynamics Observatory

Coronal Rain

Posted in The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , on September 17, 2013 by telescoper

Well it’s dark and gloomy and pouring with rain on the day on which I’m required to do the most running about on campus. I think we could all do with another look at the Sun – which might otherwise fade into a distant memory. This is no ordinary look at the Sun, though, it’s a spectacular video taken by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. According to the description on Youtube,

Eruptive events on the Sun can be wildly different. Some come just with a solar flare, some with an additional ejection of solar material called a coronal mass ejection (CME), and some with complex moving structures in association with changes in magnetic field lines that loop up into the Sun’s atmosphere, the corona.

On July 19, 2012, an eruption occurred on the sun that produced all three. A moderately powerful solar flare exploded on the Sun’s lower right hand limb, sending out light and radiation. Next came a CME, which shot off to the right out into space. And then, the Sun treated viewers to one of its dazzling magnetic displays — a phenomenon known as coronal rain.

Over the course of the next day, hot plasma in the corona cooled and condensed along strong magnetic fields in the region. Magnetic fields, themselves, are invisible, but the charged plasma is forced to move along the lines, showing up brightly in the extreme ultraviolet wavelength of 304 Angstroms, which highlights material at a temperature of about 50,000 Kelvin. This plasma acts as a tracer, helping scientists watch the dance of magnetic fields on the Sun, outlining the fields as it slowly falls back to the solar surface.

The footage in this video was collected by the Solar Dynamics Observatory’s AIA instrument. SDO collected one frame every 12 seconds, and the movie plays at 30 frames per second, so each second in this video corresponds to 6 minutes of real time. The video covers 12:30 a.m. EDT to 10:00 p.m. EDT on July 19, 2012.

Those are the facts, and here is the video, which is simply stunning:

Sic Transit Gloria Monday

Posted in The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , on June 11, 2012 by telescoper

I can never resist a terrible pun, so thought this would be an especially  good day to post this video from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory,  showing views of last week’s Transit of Venus taken at several different wavelengths..

 

The Sun’s not Behaving…

Posted in The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , on December 6, 2010 by telescoper

Check out this dramatic and slightly alarming picture of a huge filament emanating from the surface of the Sun, courtesy of NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. The filament is about 700,000km long, apparently – that’s an entire Solar Radius. It’s expected to collapse back into the Sun at some point, an event which should be rather exciting! For more details see here.

Even better, here’s a close-up animation.


It reminds me a bit of that Balrog thing in The Lord of the Rings that gave Gandalf such a good run for his money.


Share/Bookmark

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,271 other followers