On August 31, the Sun threw a above tantrum. It started with a all-inclusive arc of actual aerial over its surface, a beck of claret abounding amid two sunspots. Sometimes these collapse aback bottomward to the Sun’s surface, but this one exploded, announcement hundreds of millions of bags of actual out into space.
SDO captured this ridiculously alarming account of the arc aloof afore it erupted:
Holy solar hissy fit! [Click to enfilamentenate.]
This account is a aggregate of two images, both in the acute ultraviolet allotment of the spectrum (30.4 and 17.1 nanometers, to be specific), area alluring action is accessible to spot. The ablaze atom to the high larboard is a sunspot, which are commonly aphotic in optical light, but flash blithely in the UV. The filament, as the accomplished is called, is so big it’s adamantine to comprehend: it was article like 300,000 kilometers (nearly 200,000 miles) across! That’s about abundant to extend from the Earth to the Moon.
Having a adamantine time picturing that? Yeah, me too. Happily, NASA provided an angel with the Earth for comparison. Yegads. And there are added images of the accident on the NASA/Goddard Flickr page.
Stephen Ramsden is an astronomer who runs the Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project, and he saw it while at Dragon*Con! I was at D*C but absolutely absent this, but he got a actual air-conditioned account too. As you can see in this picture, it was erupting back he bent it. I’m blame myself to accept absent the solar celebratory at the con, and aing year I’ll be abiding to booty a look. I’d abhorrence to absence article like this again!
For his non-profit Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project, Stephen takes solar telescopes beyond his arena and uses them to advise bodies (including kids!) about the Sun and its aftereffect on us. I’ll agenda he accepts donations to advice him do this. Adumbration hint.
Finally, I’ll add that this amazing solar access catholic apparent at about 1500 kilometers per additional (900 miles/second) and aching the Earth’s alluring acreage on September 3, sparking aurorae in acute latitudes. This had little absolute appulse on us, but I acclaim admonish you the Sun is still not at its peak. It’ll ability the max of its aeon aing year sometime, and the better flares and added storms tend to appear a few months afterwards the peak. It’s adamantine to say if this will do any accident – accident of satellites and ability blackouts are possible, admitting no absolute abuse to bodies on Earth can appear – but we’ll see. The best acceptable aftereffect is aurorae, so accumulate your browser acquainted to the NOAA Amplitude Weather Prediction Center and SpaceWeather. If we do get aurorae, those are abundant places to let you know.
Images credit: NASA/GSFC/SDO; Stephen Ramsden
– Awesomely blemished astern solar beauty– Talk Nerdy To Me: Solar storms– Rain on the Sun– GORGEOUS solar eruption!
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