Fire Earth

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Solar Mega Storm

Posted by feww on March 5, 2011

A large solar flare ejects a swirling fountain of plasma, splashing over the sun’s surface


A large M 3.6 class flare occurred near the edge of the Sun, ejecting a fountain of plasma that swirled and twisted over a 90-minute period on Feb. 24, 2011. The prominence was captured in extreme ultraviolet light by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) spacecraft. Some of the material blew out into space and other portions fell back to the surface. Source: NASA/GSFC/SDO

The Sun Now


Click image to update. Source:  NASA/GSFC/SDO

Lotsa Loops


As an active region rotated into view, SDO got a good profile look at the constantly changing magnetic field lines arcing high above it (Feb. 23-27, 2011). In extreme ultraviolet light the multitude of lines are revealed because charged particles are spinning along them. The interactions seen here are within an extensive and busy action region. If you watch the clip closely, you can see an eruptive blast (along with a strong flare) from the leading region near the beginning of the clip. These regions will be facing Earth beginning March 3, so for about the following week they could generate “space weather” effects. Source: SDO


An eruptive blast generates a strong flare. Click images to enlarge.

Aurora Borealis

Geomagnetic storm caught on camera. Auroras are generated when solar wind streams strike Earth’s magnetic field. Credit: NASA/GSFC/James Spann

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