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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.

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 April 16, 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 April 16, 2014).

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