Spectacular Filament Eruption on the Sun Captured by SDO

by Nancy Atkinson on September 1, 2012

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Yikes! Not to be outdone by the Blue Moon, the Sun had some impressive action on August 31, 2012 as well. A solar filament collapsed and and exploded, and the Solar Dynamics Observatory caught the action in dramatic detail. The view in extreme ultraviolet light is simply jaw-dropping! The segment in the 304 angstroms wavelength (where the Sun looks red) covers almost 3 hours of elapsed time.

The SDO team says that long filaments like this one have been known to collapse with explosive results when they hit the stellar surface below. According to SpaceWeather.com, the CME propelled by the blast might deliver a glancing blow to Earth’s magnetic field in the days ahead.

The image above includes an image of Earth to show the size of the CME compared to the size of Earth. Credit: NASA/GSFC/SDO

Screen grab from the video showing the view in extreme ultraviolet light. Credit: SDO

See more at SDO’s website and You Tube site.

About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

Patrick Ahles September 1, 2012 at 6:21 PM

Spectacular!

Aqua4U September 1, 2012 at 6:36 PM

Thanks for posting that Nancy! I saw it on SpaceWeather.com, but could not play it.. my OS is rather dated…

Aqua4U September 1, 2012 at 6:39 PM

WOW! I’ve been watching the sunspots on the sun every day with an old refractor.. I view a projected image on white art board which shows the spots but not much else.. wish I had the extre lucre for a Coronado 90!

lcrowell September 2, 2012 at 3:18 PM

These are solar energy events leading up to the expected solar maximum in 2013. It is impressive that billions of tons of material can be ejected from the sun, with considerable gravity, at 500 to 1000 km/sec.

LC

danangel September 3, 2012 at 4:15 AM

Wow, I wish now that we were having a truly active cycle, instead of the wimp cycle we are in now. Just imagine all the exciting observations we could have made in the past and hopefully will record when we have an active cycle again in the future. Exciting times.

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