So­lar Flare and a Coronal Mass Ejec­tion

BBC Earth (Asia) - - Snapshot - PHOTO: NASA/GSFC/So­lar Dy­nam­ics Ob­ser­va­tory

A medium-sized (M2) so­lar flare and a coronal mass ejec­tion (CME) erupted from the same, large ac­tive re­gion of the sun on July 14, 2017. The flare lasted al­most two hours, quite a long du­ra­tion. The coils arc­ing over this ac­tive re­gion are par­ti­cles spi­ralling along mag­netic field lines, which were re­or­gan­is­ing them­selves af­ter the mag­netic field was dis­rupted by the blast. Images were taken in a wave­length of ex­treme ul­tra­vi­o­let light.

So­lar flares are gi­ant ex­plo­sions on the sun that send en­ergy, light and high speed par­ti­cles into space. These flares are of­ten as­so­ci­ated with so­lar mag­netic storms known as Coronal Mass Ejec­tions (CMEs). While these are the most com­mon so­lar events, the sun can also emit streams of very fast pro­tons – known as So­lar En­er­getic Par­ti­cle (SEP) events – and dis­tur­bances in the so­lar wind known as Coro­tat­ing In­ter­ac­tion Re­gions (CIRs).

The So­lar Dy­nam­ics Ob­ser­va­tory is man­aged by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Cen­ter, Green­belt, Mary­land, for NASA’s Science Mis­sion Di­rec­torate, Wash­ing­ton. Its At­mos­phere Imag­ing As­sem­bly was built by the Lock­heed Martin So­lar As­tro­physics Lab­o­ra­tory (LMSAL), Palo Alto, Cal­i­for­nia.

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