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NASA sees the sun having a solar blast

Date:
June 7, 2011
Source:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Summary:
The Sun unleashed an M-2 (medium-sized) solar flare, an S1-class (minor) radiation storm and a spectacular coronal mass ejection (CME) on June 7, 2011 from sunspot complex 1226-1227. The large cloud of particles mushroomed up and fell back down looking as if it covered an area of almost half the solar surface.

This is a Coronal Mass Ejection as viewed by the Solar Dynamics Observatory on June 7, 2011.
Credit: NASA/SDO

The Sun unleashed an M-2 (medium-sized) solar flare, an S1-class (minor) radiation storm and a spectacular coronal mass ejection (CME) on June 7, 2011 from sunspot complex 1226-1227. The large cloud of particles mushroomed up and fell back down looking as if it covered an area of almost half the solar surface.

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The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) observed the flare's peak at 1:41a.m. ET (0641 UT). SDO recorded these images (above) in extreme ultraviolet light that show a very large eruption of cool gas. It is somewhat unique because at many places in the eruption there seems to be even cooler material -- at temperatures less than 80,000 K.

When viewed in Solar and Heliospheric Observatory's (SOHO) coronagraphs (right), the event shows bright plasma and high-energy particles roaring from the Sun. This not-squarely Earth-directed CME is moving at 1400 km/s according to NASA models.

The CME should deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field during the late hours of June 8th or June 9th. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras when the CME arrives.

What is a solar flare? What is a CME? For answers to these and other space weather questions, please visit the Spaceweather Frequently Asked Questions page: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sunearth/spaceweather/index.html


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. "NASA sees the sun having a solar blast." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110607171838.htm>.
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. (2011, June 7). NASA sees the sun having a solar blast. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110607171838.htm
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. "NASA sees the sun having a solar blast." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110607171838.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

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