Awesome isn’t it?
That’s what our sun looks like when it goes through a fairly regular occurrence: a CME (Coronal Mass Ejection). CMEs are often associated with solar flares – some of which end up heading straight for Earth where they can create stunning enhancements of Aurora Borealis and can also play havoc with our orbiting satellites and electrical infrastructure.
That was not the case however on Monday, April 16th, when this particular CME was recorded by NASA’s SDO satellite-based solar observatory.
The flare produced by this CME headed off in another direction, which is likely why we have such spectacular imagery to look at.
NASA classified the flare as an M1 – a medium sized flare.
Check out more images and a video below…
(All images and video credit: NASA/GSFC/SDO)
I know this not really a gadgets story, but something this cool just has to be shared. NASA’s SDO spacecraft, designed to take extremely high-resolution images of our sun recently captured this incredible footage of a very large solar flare. Here’s the description from NASA:
When a rather large-sized (M 3.6 class) flare occurred near the edge of the Sun, it blew out a gorgeous, waving mass of erupting plasma that swirled and twisted over a 90-minute period (Feb. 24, 2011). This event was captured in extreme ultraviolet light by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft . Some of the material blew out into space and other portions fell back to the surface. Because SDO images are super-HD, we can zoom in on the action and still see exquisite details. And using a cadence of a frame taken every 24 seconds, the sense of motion is, by all appearances, seamless. Sit back and enjoy the jaw-dropping solar show.
Couldn’t have said it better myself.
Thanks to Gizmodo for turning us on to it.