Posts Tagged ‘SDO’

25 February

Yesterday’s Magnificent Solar Flare Unleashed From The Sun

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Solar Flare-Multi-wavelengths, Feb. 24, 2014 (credit: NASA/SDO, Solar Dynamics Observatory). This design is also available at www.sunisthefuture.com

Wow, yesterday (Monday, Feb. 24, 2014), the sun emitted a significant solar flare, peaking at 7:49 P.M. (EST). NASA’s SDO (Solar Dynamics Observatory), keeping the constant watch on the sun, captured images of the event. Above you are seeing the SDO images from 7:25 P.M. EST showing the first moments of this x-class flare in different wavelengths of light (in units of angstrom, A with circle above, 1.0 x 10^(-10) meters), seen as the bright spot on the left limb of the sun. Hot solar material can be seen hovering above the active region in the sun’s atmosphere, the corona. This flare is classified as an X4.9-class flare. X-class denotes the most intense flares while the number provides more information about its strength. An X2 is twice as intense as an X1 whereas X3 is three times as intense as X1.

Below (in italics), is wikipedia’s explanation of the sun, solar flare and CME (coronal mass ejections) and a previously uploaded video by sunisthefuture channel :


solar flare is a sudden brightening observed over the Sun‘s surface or the solar limb, which is interpreted as a large energy release of up to 6 × 1025 joules of energy (about a sixth of the total energy output of the Sun each second or 160,000,000,000 megatons of TNT equivalent, over 25,000 times more energy than released from the impact of Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9 with Jupiter). They are mainly followed by a colossal coronal mass ejection also known as a CME. The flare ejects clouds of electrons, ions, and atoms through the corona of the sun into space. These clouds typically reach Earth a day or two after the event. The term is also used to refer to similar phenomena in other stars, where the term stellar flare applies.

 

Solar Flare of May 3, 2013 (credit: NASA/SDO)

Solar Flare of 2011 produced a CME that did not travel toward the Earth (credit: NASA/SDO)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Solar flares affect all layers of the solar atmosphere (photospherechromosphere, and corona), when the plasma medium is heated to tens of millions of kelvins the electronsprotons, and heavier ions are accelerated to near the speed of light. They produce radiation across the electromagnetic spectrum at all wavelengths, from radio waves to gamma rays, although most of the energy is spread over frequencies outside the visual range and for this reason the majority of the flares are not visible to the naked eye and must be observed with special instruments. Flares occur in active regions around sunspots, where intense magnetic fields penetrate the photosphere to link the corona to the solar interior. Flares are powered by the sudden (timescales of minutes to tens of minutes) release of magnetic energy stored in the corona. The same energy releases may produce coronal mass ejections (CME), although the relation between CMEs and flares is still not well established.

related posts, below:

Solar Flare of Yesterday

Sun & Its CMEs (Coronal Mass Ejections)

Understanding Our Powerful Sun & Its CME (Coronal Mass Ejection)

Gathered and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

~have a bright and sunny day~

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4 May

Solar Flare of Yesterday

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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Our Solar-FIT For Sunshine State petition updates: 161 signatures. Please help to share this petition with others.

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I’d like to share with you a mid-level solar flare event that occurred on May 3, 2013 at 1:30 pm EDT. More details from NASA may be found, below:

Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth’s atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground, however — when intense enough –they can

A burst of solar material leaps off the left side of the sun in what’s known as a prominence eruption. This image combines three images from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured on May 3, 2013, at 1:45 pm EDT, just as an M-class solar flare from the same region was subsiding. The images include light from the 131-, 171- and 304-angstrom wavelengths. Credit: NASA/SDO/AIA

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of an M5.7-class flare on May 3, 2013, at 1:30 p.m. EDT. This image shows light in the 131-angstrom wavelength, a wavelength of light that can show material at the very hot temperatures of a solar flare and that is typically colorized in teal. Credit: NASA/SDO/AIA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel. This disrupts the radio signals for as long as the flare is ongoing, and the radio blackout for this flare has already subsided. Updates will be provided as they are available on the flare and whether there was an associated coronal mass ejection,

Magnificent CME (Coronal Mass Ejections) Erupts on the Sun of August 31, 2012, design available at www.cafepress.com/sunisthefuture

another solar phenomenon that can send solar particles into space and affect electronic systems in satellites and on Earth.

For answers to various space weather questions, please visit the Spaceweather Frequently Asked Questions page

Let’s learn more about our Sun. For better understanding about our Sun, its CMEs (Coronal Mass Ejections), and solar flare, please view the video clip produced by sunisthefuture Youtube Channel (collaborated with NASA/SDO), below:

 

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your questions, comments, and suggestions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net

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1 March

Sun & Its CMEs (Coronal Mass Ejections)

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,
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Some of you asked me for the transcript of the video and commented on the cool images of the Sun and its CMEs, so here is more on the subject matter! Transcript of our video on Feb. 21, 2013 and more fantastic images of the Sun and its CMEs (coronal mass ejections).

Transcript of the video:  The sun, it has shed light on our homes for over four billion years. It will continue to do so for another four. It is massive almost beyond comprehension, constant yet ever changing. Born from the swirling cloud of dust and gas, it is a giant fusion engine that drives the solar system. It seams and broils like a living thing. Loops of plasma rise up, so large that would dwarf earth. Explosion flash from its surface. And yet the sun would also give its warmth and life and beauty….

Coronal mass ejections (or CMEs) are huge clouds of plasma and magnetic fields occasionally thrown off by the sun.

Sun’s CMEs (of plasma & magnetic fields) burst & throw off by the Sun

Scientists study them because the massive burst  pose a threat to  space age technology, and even power grids on the ground. Within each CME lies a kernel, known as the flux rope, tightly wound groups of  magnetic lines that can contain and transport solar material. Astronomers have seen them as CMEs burst off of the sun.

Flux Ropes & CMEs (Coronal Mass Ejections) of the Sun (collaboration of NASA & Sun Is The Future)

But they have been next to  impossible to detect on the sun itself. New research using NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory has now shown that they can be seen in just one of its cameras which shows the very hottest material on the sun. By watching a flux rope form and ejects as a CME, the research has brought some closure to one long standing mysteries, whether a rope is formed before or during a CME eruption. It’s impossible to actually see the flux ropes or any of the sun’s powerful magnetic fields involved with CMEs and flares because these fields are invisible.

Sun’s CME, Flux Ropes, and Internal Magnetic Fields (NASA)

But scientists can map them by observing plasma trapped by these fields, which shows up as thin lines under extreme ultraviolet light. Since earth’s atmosphere naturally filters these UV light, scientists must observe them using telescope in space, such as NASA’s SDO. So there’s been relatively few detailed observations of CMEs, particularly at higher temperatures. SDO images the sun at high image and time resolution. It is also the first satellite to consistently observe light with a wavelength of 131 A (angstroms),

Sun’s CME Flux Ropes viewed in 131 A (angstrom)

which highlights plasma at temperatures  around 10,000,000 degrees. This wavelength is usually reserved for studying solar flares. But what NASA and Naval Research Laboratory scientists  found is that the flux ropes associated with CMEs could only be seen at this temperature. On July 19, 2012, a CME erupted from the visible edge or limb of the sun. Because it was on the limb, the flux ropes were in profile and  particularly visible. Even more important, the flux ropes appeared about 7 hours earlier in the same location. The ropes were visible  as a line  of figure 8’s that looked exactly the way as theorists predicted  they would.

Sun’s CME Flux Ropes viewed in 171 A (angstrom) (NASA)

Sun’s CME Flux Ropes in Figure 8 (NASA)

This is the first direct evidence that flux ropes formed well before the coronal mass ejection. Footage of the CMEs from the SOHO spacecraft confirms the presence of the flux ropes. By adding  footage from the stereo A spacecraft which is viewing the sun from an entirely different angle, the researchers were able to create a three dimensional picture  of the flux ropes. For the most part, they followed the classic figure 8 pattern previously observed and predicted by solar models. But some of these ropes also had feet which extended farther away than scientists had expected. This deviation from the model is interesting and requires further studies. Besides show and proof of early flux rope formation, the study also paves the way for future flux ropes and CME research by literally finding a new light  to observe them in. The possibility of using flux rope formations as early warning system for CMEs means this line of research can have some very practical and far reaching applications and it could also help to wrap up some of the long standing mysteries of the sun.

If you are inspired or enthralled by these images, please feel free to visit www.sunisthefuture.com or click inside the big rectangular box below with SUN IS THE FUTURE for gift items with these images.

~have a bright and sunny day~
gathered, edited, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker
any of your questions, commenents, suggestions are always welcomed below or privately at sunisthefuture@gmail.com
Homepage:  http://www.sunisthefuture.net


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21 February

Understanding Our Powerful Sun & Its CME (Coronal Mass Ejection)

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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As a result of posting The Unexpected Atmospheric Intruder on Feb. 16, 2013, I’ve received multiple  questions/concerns expressed by our viewers toward the space and our Sun.  Therefore, I’ve prepared this particular session on “Understanding Our Powerful Sun & Its CME(coronal mass ejection)” for your viewing pleasure, to further our appreciation of our Sun, and to kindle our curiosity and wonder for exploration into the space.  With the help from NASA Heliophysics (meaning Physics of the Sun),  I’d like to present to you this composite of 2 footage about the Sun, the star at the center of our Solar System, and its CME (coronal mass ejection), the massive burst of solar wind and magnetic fields rising above the solar corona or being released into space.  Be sure to stay long enough to also view the activities of CME.

 

Can you feel the light and intense warmth projected from the screen…from this giant active star ?

Our Sun, with a diamter-1,392,684 km (109 x that of Earth) (NASA)

While the origin and sustenance of life here on Earth are intimately connected to this active star of over 4.6 billion years, our fate in the next 4+ billion years will depend much on our ability to understand and predict Sun’s variability in producing streams of high energy particles and radiation that can help/harm life on Earth or alter its evolution.  Better understanding of the connections between the Sun, solar wind, planetary space environments, and our place in the Galaxy would enable us to uncover the fundamental physical processes occurring throughout the Universe and allow us to predict the impacts of solar variability on humans, our technological systems, and the presence of life here on Earth. Since heliophysics is simply too vast a field to cover in one post, we will be concentrating in some basic understanding of the Sun and its coronal mass ejection (CME) in this one.

The almost perfectly spherical Sun consists of hot plasma

Sun’s plasma  trapped by magnetic fields shows up as thin lines in extreme UV light (NASA)

interwoven with magnetic fields,

with a diameter of about 1,392,684 km (about 109 x that of earth) and a mass about 2 x 10^30 kilograms (about 330,000 x that of earth). It accounts for almost 99.86% of the total mass of the Solar System.  Chemically, about three quarters of the Sun’s mass consists of hydrogen while the rest is mostly helium…and the remainder (about 1.69%) consists of heavier elements such as oxygencarbonneoniron, etc.  The Sun formed from the gravitational collapse of a region within a large molecular cloud. Most of the matter gathered in the center, while the rest flattened into an orbiting disk that would become the Solar System. The central mass became increasingly hot and dense, eventually initiating thermonuclear fusion in its core. It is thought that almost all other stars form by this process. The Sun’s stellar classification, based on spectral class, is G2V, and is informally designated as a yellow dwarf, because its visible radiation is most intense in the yellow-green portion of the spectrum and although its color is white, from the surface of the Earth it may appear yellow because of atmospheric scattering of blue light. In the spectral class label, G2 indicates its surface temperature of approximately 5778 K (5505 °C), and V indicates that the Sun, like most stars, is a main-sequence star, and thus generates its energy by nuclear fusion of hydrogen nuclei into helium. In its core, the Sun fuses 620 million metric tons of hydrogen each second.  The Sun (the star closest to Earth, approximately 149.6 million kilometers away or the distance that light travels in 8 minutes and 19 seconds) is brighter than about 85% of the stars in the Milky Way galaxy.

The Milky Way

Star Formatioin

Its hot corona continuously expands in space, creating the solar wind,  a stream of charged particles that extends to the heliopause at roughly 100 astronomical units. (Source: wikipedia)

Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) release huge quantities of matter and  electromagnetic radiation into space above the sun’s surface, either near the corona (sometimes called a solar prominence), or farther into the planet system, or beyond (interplanetary CME).

Sun’s CME (interplanetary)

The ejected material is a plasma consisting primarily of electrons and protons, but may contain small quantities of heavier elements such as helium, oxygen, and even iron. The theory of heavier element emissions during a CME is speculative information and requires further verification. It is highly unlikely that a CME contains any substantial amount of heavier elements, especially considering that the sun has not yet arrived at the point of helium flash and thus cannot begin to fuse elements heavier than helium. Coronal mass ejections are associated with enormous changes and disturbances in the coronal magnetic field. They are usually observed with a white-light coronagraph. Recent scientific research has shown that the phenomenon of magnetic reconnection is responsible for CME and solar flares. Magnetic reconnection is the name given to the rearrangement of magnetic field lines when two oppositely directed magnetic fields are brought together. This rearrangement is accompanied with a sudden release of energy stored in the original oppositely directed fields. Most ejections originate from active regions on the Sun’s surface, such as groupings of sunspots associated with frequent flares. Near solar maxima the Sun produces about three CMEs every day, whereas near solar minima there is about one CME every five days.

As magnetic fields of the sun rearrange and realign, sunspots can appear on its surface. From Feb.19-20, 2013, scientists watched a giant sunspot form in under 48 hours. The sunspot shown in this image from the SDO (Solar Dynamics Observatory) has grown to over six Earth diameters across, but its full extent is hard to judge since the spot lies on a sphere not a flat disk. (NASA)

NASA-Another CME from Sunspot, via coronograph spectrometers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the sun, magnetic reconnection may happen on solar arcades—a series of closely occurring ropes of magnetic lines of force. These lines of force quickly reconnect into a low arcade of ropes,

Sun’s CME flux ropes

Sun’s CME flux ropes in figure 8

leaving a helix of magnetic field unconnected to the rest of the arcade. The sudden release of energy in this reconnection causes the solar flare. The unconnected magnetic helical field and the material that it contains may violently expand outwards forming a CME.This also explains why CMEs and solar flares typically erupt from what are known as the active regions on the sun where magnetic fields are much stronger on average.

Sun’s CME flux ropes seen from different angles

NASA SDO (Solar Dynamics Observatory) telescope (NASA)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you enjoyed viewing/reading this piece as much as I had in researching and composing this piece.

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your comments/suggestions/questions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Homepage:  http://www.sunisthefuture.net


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