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NASA’s SDO Captured Eruption Extending
About 160,000 Miles Out From The Sun

4 January, 2013

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MessageToEagle.com - On Dec. 31st, magnetic fields winding around the sun's northeastern limb un-twisted explosively.

The event was recorded by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory.

A solar eruption gracefully rose up from the sun, twisting and turning. Magnetic forces drove the flow of plasma, but without sufficient force to overcome the sun’s gravity much of the plasma fell back into the sun.



Click on image to enlarge

The Earth is superimposed on this image to give readers a sense of the scale. The length of the eruption extends about 160,000 miles out from the Sun. With Credit: NASA/SDO/Steele Hill


This relatively minor eruption - approximately 20 times the diameter of our planet - was gigantic,
Earth is about 7,900 miles in diameter.


SDO Sees Solar Ballet, Par Deux

A solar eruption gracefully rose up from the sun on December 31, 2012, twisting and turning. Magnetic forces drove the flow of plasma, but without sufficient force to overcome the sun’s gravity much of the plasma fell back into the sun. This four–hour event occurred from 10:20 am to 2:20 pm EST and was captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory in extreme ultraviolet light shown here at a high cadence of an image every 36 seconds.


The sun is currently in the middle of an active phase of its 11-year solar weather cycle. The current cycle, which began in 2008, is called Solar Cycle 24 and is expected to peak in 2013.

Like many other observatories, the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) spacecraft is continuously observing solar activity. This monitoring is crucial because it will help to improve our understanding of the sun and our ability to forecast space weather, according to researchers.

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See also:
A New Look At Beautiful Cygnus: See One Of The Largest Astronomical Images Ever Made

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