Plasma Dancing Off the Sun

Article written: 12 May , 2011
Updated: 18 Jan , 2016
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Video

The Solar Dynamics Observatory captured some plasma streaming off the Sun, doing a quick dance, and diving back into the surface. This video zooms into an active region over two days (Apr. 30 – May 2, 2011). The cloud of ionized gas, or plasma that comes off the Sun is caused by an active, erupting sunspot. Why does the plasma return instead of streaming off into space? Magnetic forces are pulling the material along magnetic field lines on the Sun, and the plasma follows the Sun’s magnetic fields as it flies outwards, and either returns to the Sun or goes out into space. Here, the plasma returned. What you are seeing is ionized Helium at about 60,000 degrees C. in extreme ultraviolet light.

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2 Responses

  1. Anonymous says

    Honestly!!! Well, at least your powers of critical thinking are right up to snuff! You see something you can’t explain, in a situation about which you have next to no understanding, and immediately you surmise that it has to do with a specific legend in a book that was writen in the bronze age about the supernatural. Get a life. Keep your assinine, unfounded comments to yourself. And stop preaching on this website.

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