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SciTech Filament Eruption Creates 'Canyon of Fire' on the Sun

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by Inderjeet Kaur, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. Inderjeet Kaur

    Inderjeet Kaur
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    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gsfc/10460090775/in/photostream/

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Qurh_BZ-O2E" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


    A magnetic filament of solar material erupted on the sun in late September, breaking the quiet conditions in a spectacular fashion. The 200,000 mile long filament ripped through the sun's atmosphere, the corona, leaving behind what looks like a canyon of fire. The glowing canyon traces the channel where magnetic fields held the filament aloft before the explosion. Visualizers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. combined two days of satellite data to create a short movie of this gigantic event on the sun.

    In reality, the sun is not made of fire, but of something called plasma: particles so hot that their electrons have boiled off, creating a charged gas that is interwoven with magnetic fields.

    These images were captured on Sept. 29-30, 2013, by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, which constantly observes the sun in a variety of wavelengths.

    Different wavelengths help capture different aspect of events in the corona. The red images shown in the movie help highlight plasma at temperatures of 90,000° F and are good for observing filaments as they form and erupt. The yellow images, showing temperatures at 1,000,000° F, are useful for observing material coursing along the sun's magnetic field lines, seen in the movie as an arcade of loops across the area of the eruption. The browner images at the beginning of the movie show material at temperatures of 1,800,000° F, and it is here where the canyon of fire imagery is most obvious.

    By comparing this with the other colors, one sees that the two swirling ribbons moving farther away from each other are, in fact, the footprints of the giant magnetic field loops, which are growing and expanding as the filament pulls them upward.

    This video is public domain and can be downloaded at:

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    #1 Inderjeet Kaur, Oct 25, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2013
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  3. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Wow Thanks. This is so interesting. And thanks for those links - more learning resources. This is going to be really good to read and learn.
     
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  4. Inderjeet Kaur

    Inderjeet Kaur
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    One of the good gifts from the USA government is that virtually all their publications, including photographs and videos are in the public domain. This includes almost everything from NASA including those incredible Hubble shots.

    I highly recommend The Hubblesite Gallery
     
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