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Mysteries of the Sun

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Telescope on NASA’s SDO Collects Its 100-Millionth Image



The Atmospheric Imaging Assembly on NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured its 100 millionth image of the sun on Jan. 19, 2015. The dark areas at the bottom and the top of the image are coronal holes - areas of less dense gas, where solar material has flowed away from the sun.



The 100 millionth image created from previous images – each tile in the mosaic is 50 pixels across. All the sun pictures used in the mosaic show extreme ultraviolet light with a wavelength of 193 angstroms.


Download 15000x15000 mosaic (170 MB jpg)
 
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A huge magnetic filament



A solar filament erupted in the shape of a twisted arch over a three-hour period (Feb. 4, 2015) with most of it falling back into the Sun. The activity in the lower corona was caught in a wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light. Filaments are elongated clouds of particles suspended above the Sun's surface by magnetic forces. They are notoriously unstable.

Solar Dynamics Observatory, NASA

 
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Really awesome thread, thanks guys for keeping science on a PC website. ^^
 

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solar flares


The sun unleashed its first superpowerful flare of the year on Wednesday (March 11), and the intense eruption was aimed directly at Earth, space weather experts say.

The monster X-class solar flare, the strongest category of sun storms possible, peaked at 12:22 p.m. EDT (1622 GMT) today, originating from a sunspot known as Active Region 12297 (AR12297). NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured stunning video of the huge X-class solar flare as it erupted.


It's unclear at the moment if a CME is associated with today's event. However, the SWPC has already issued a minor geomagnetic storm warning for Friday (March 13) as a result of three CMEs the sun unleashed on Monday (March 9).
 

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No sign of @Drone for a while but the sun keeps shining regardless.



Solar Ropes Writhe on the Sun in First Hi-Def Pictures, Video
upload_2015-5-6_10-23-11.jpeg


Twisted ropes of hot plasma and light on the surface of the sun that writhe like snakes can now be seen in high definition.

These solar flux ropes — also known as coronal loops or solar prominences — can be seen in stunning detail thanks to new observations taken by the 1.6m New Solar Telescope at the ground-based Big Bear Solar Observatory in California. You can watch a high-definition video of the ropes on Space.com. The ropes are created by invisible magnetic fields, which can be seen when visible material is pulled along them.

Scientists think these solar flux ropes are linked to explosions on the surface of the sun that spew high-energy particles out into space. These solar eruptions can cause problems for satellites and power grids, and a better understanding of the explosions and the flux ropes could provide an early warning system for Earth. [The Sun's Wrath: Worst Solar Storms in History]


They used this telescope... Big Bear Observatory California. http://www.bbso.njit.edu/
 
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The mystery of why the sun's atmosphere is hotter than its surface - solved.

A relentless onslaught of tiny explosions on the sun’s surface blast the solar atmosphere, researchers report. These eruptions, dubbed nanoflares, might help solve the long-standing riddle about why the sun’s corona is millions of degrees hotter than its surface.

“This is a real breakthrough to solving one of most important problems in space science,” James Klimchuk, an astrophysicist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., said at a news conference April 28.

The nanoflares rapidly heat the plasma in the corona, the sun’s outer atmosphere, to about 10 million degrees Celsius, says Klimchuk. The plasma then quickly cools to a relatively balmy 2 million degrees or so, still much warmer than the roughly 5,500-degree surface of the sun.

Each eruption belches out roughly the same amount of energy as a 10-megaton hydrogen bomb, Klimchuk says. While that amount of energy is enormous by Earth standards, it’s just a blip on the sun. These nanoflares have just one-billionth the energy of their much larger cousins, the massive solar flares that hurl bits of the sun into space at millions of kilometers per hour. There are, however, millions of nanoflares erupting every second.

Astronomers can’t see individual flares, said Adrian Daw, another Goddard astrophysicist. Instead they see the superhot plasma in the sun’s atmosphere, which is the “smoking gun for nanoflares,” he says.
 
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I wish I lived soo Long that I'd see us incapsule a star for power generation
 

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Nasa reveals huge coronal loops on the sun's surface in stunning detail
vid link at bottom of post
The image reveals vast coronal loops of material attempting break free from the sun, as well as the magnetic battles on the surface that cause it to twist and turn. Loops are shown in a blended overlay with the magnetic field, with blue and yellow representing the opposite polarities of the magnetic field.


Another incredible part of the video shows ‘coronal rain’ (pictured) streaming down onto the sun from a loop of material above the sun’s surface. Coronal rain is formed when hot plasma in the corona - the sun’s atmosphere - condenses and falls back to the surface


Nasa's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), illustrated below, was launched on 11 February 2010 and has observed the sun ever since.
It's goal is to understand how exactly the sun interacts with the environment around Earth.
By watching the sun in different wavelengths - and therefore different temperatures - scientists can watch how material courses through the corona, which holds clues to what causes eruptions on the sun, what heats the sun's atmosphere up to 1,000 times hotter than its surface, and why the sun's magnetic fields are constantly on the move.



A lovely timelapse vid
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencet...-surface-stunning-detail.html#v-4162148376001
 

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The sun has unleashed three separate solar storms which have combined to smash into Earth's atmosphere.

Forecasters say the storm will continue overnight, causing huge aurora to be visible and even potentially causing problems with electricity supplies on Earth.

It could cause strong auroras as far south as the Canadian border with the U.S
The SWPC has a 30-minute aurora forecast tool to help people more easily see when and where auroras are expected to become active.




This solar storm is being caused by three coronal mass ejections — bursts of hot plasma shot from the sun — that met up in space today.

All three CMEs were shot out from the same region of the sun, a sunspot region called 12371.

One ejection was flung into space on June 18, with another occurring a day later.

The most recent CME erupted from the sun on June 21 and is moving more quickly than either of the other two Earth-directed bursts of plasma, a cosmic coincidence that has them all impacting Earth's magnetic field at about the same time.

The SWPC was originally predicting that, on Monday, the storm could reach G3 level — a 'strong' solar storm that could create brilliant auroras but also may interfere with satellites in space.
 

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2433 looks like a gibbon.

it probably isnt one though.
 

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Astronomers have spotted what looks like an enormous chasm sprawled across the sun's surface.
50-EARTHS-wide

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coronal_hole

The phenomenon, known as a coronal hole, is 50-Earths-wide and shows up as a vast patch of black on Nasa's newly released image.
Captured by Nasa's Solar Dynamics Observatory on 15 October, the region occurs where a magnetic field fails to loop back down to the sun's surface instead sending out coronal material in what is called a high-speed solar wind stream.


The image, take on 15 October, was taken in wavelengths of 193 Angstroms, which is invisible to the human eye

While the image may at first look alarming, it does not indicate that we are in any danger. Coronal holes are a common feature on the sun, though they appear at different places - particularly near the poles - and with more frequency at different times of the sun's activity cycle. They are generally more common when the sun is at a less active point in its 11-year cycle.
The holes' effects are usually harmless, although in some cases satellite communications and high-altitude radio transmissions can be temporarily disrupted.


A coronal hole was also spotted at the beginning of the year (pictured). In January the phenomenon occurred closer to the south pole

They can also trigger the stunning aurora over Earth's skies - although solar flares and coronal mass ejections can also be responsible for the natural wonder.
The high-speed solar winds originating from this coronal hole triggered a geomagnetic storm near Earth that resulted in several nights of auroras earlier this month.


The hole is currently moving westwards - to the right, from Earth's perspective - so solar winds will remain strong, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) officials have said.

Coronal holes were first observed in X-ray images taken by astronauts on board Nasa's Skylab space station in 1973 and 1974.


The material that constantly flows from the sun is called the solar wind, which typically 'blows' at around 250 miles (400 km) per second.

When a coronal hole is present, however, the wind speed can double to nearly 500 miles (800 km) per second.
 
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