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Huge eruption of solar plasma from the Sun

On Friday, a solar plasma the size of a couple of Earths was unleashed from the Sun and the amazing display was captured by one of the NASA's sun observing spacecrafts.

  Author: mat | Source: space.com | 22nd October 2012  

The greatest show on Sun happened on Friday, October 19 at 8:15 GMT and was recorded by the NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft HD cameras. The results were stunning. By the words of Steele Hill, NASA's media specialist, the whole display lasted for about 10 hours before it went out of the sight.

A bursts of solar plasma or a so called prominences - eruptions that look like red-orange waves stretching from the sun. The one that took place on Friday reached the size of many times the size of Earth and its picture was recorded in the 304 Angstrom wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light, said Mr. Hill. The wave arc like shapes of a prominence are caused by large amounts of magnetic field, some of them last only for a few minutes, other prominences can "live" for hours or even days.

Solar Dynamics Observatory, spacecraft that took the amazing high-definition photo was launched in February 2010 in a mission to observe the Sun for over five years, as a part of the Living With a Star program. The amazing HD images were taken with a help of EVE, which is short for the Extreme Ultraviolet Variability Experiment instrument.

The sun is now said to be in a active phase of its solar weather cycle called the Solar Cycle 24 that lasts for 11 years and it's going to reach the pinnacle in 2013.


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Spaceman, 23rd Oct 2012, 3:02 AM
Great stuff. What's even more amazing is the amount of the energy released by the the solar flare, it's an equivalent to 160,000,000,000 megatons of TNT exploding!
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