The Sun erupted with one of the biggest prominences in years. This shot from the SOHO spacecraft on April 13, 2010 at 13:13 UT shows a Coronal Mass Ejection from the Sun’s northeastern limb. The massive plasma-filled structure rose up and burst during a ~2 hour period around 0900 UT. Emily Lakdawalla at the Planetary Society blog pointed out that you can watch a movie of the event by going to the “SOHO movie theater” . Just select “LASCO C2” from the “Image Type” menu, then click “Search.” As Emily explained, the movie viewer will automatically grab all the LASCO C2 images from the previous 24 hours and animate them for you. So, if you want to watch the eruption from April 13, and it is a few days later, just put in “2010-04-13” as the start date.
And there’s more!
The SOHO folks put together a “Pick of the Week” movie from the past week of solar activity, and the STEREO spacecraft captured a nice profile view of spiraling corona loops above an active region after it had just popped off a coronal mass ejection (CME) on April 3, 2010. According to the SOHO website, “Faint clouds of material from the CME can be seen billowing into space at more than a million miles per hour. Right afterwards, magnetic forces trying to reorganize themselves generate a series of white arcs visible in extreme UV light. We are observing not the magnetic fields themselves, but electrically charged atoms spiraling along the field lines. The video clip covers one day of activity.”
So hot its cool!