The Sun continues to be active! A large-sized (M 3.6 class) flare occurred near the edge of the Sun on February 24, 2011, and it blew out a gorgeous, waving mass of erupting plasma that swirled and twisted over a 90-minute period. This event was captured in extreme ultraviolet light by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft. Some of the material blew out into space and other portions fell back to the surface. Because SDO images are super-HD, the scienctists can zoom in on the action and still see exquisite details. The video above was created using a cadence of a frame taken every 24 seconds; still, the sense of motion is, by all appearances, seamless. Sit back and enjoy the jaw-dropping solar show. See one of the images, below.
Spaceweather.com reports that Earth was little affected by this blast, as plasma clouds produced by the blast did not come our way.
The latest active sunspot — #1163 — is currently behind the Sun’s eastern limb, but be turning toward Earth in the days ahead, setting the stage for more activity if the eruptions continue.
Nancy Atkinson is currently Universe Today’s Contributing Editor. Previously she served as UT’s Senior Editor and lead writer, and has worked with Astronomy Cast and 365 Days of Astronomy. Nancy is the author of the new book “Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos.” She is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.