March 3, 2013

A Coronal Mass Ejection

Stars are incredible celestial bodies whose physical properties almost defy description. The power released by our own Sun is inconceivable; we may be able to measure it but there is no way we can actually wrap our minds around it. The Sun can kill us from 92 million miles away.

What follows is time lapse photography of a solar flare and a coronal mass ejection at the same time. During the video you will see a pop up of our planet (on the upper right) that shows the scale of this eruption. Keep in mind that the Earth has a diameter of just under 8,000 miles.

From the Daily Time Waster:
An "eruption on the Sun that produced both a Coronal Mass Ejection and a moderate solar flare. What was more unusual, however, was what happened next. Plasma in the nearby solar corona was imaged cooling and falling back, a phenomenon known as coronal rain. Because they are electrically charged, electrons, protons, and ions in the rain were gracefully channeled along existing magnetic loops near the Sun's surface, making the scene appear as a surreal three-dimensional sourceless waterfall. The resulting surprisingly-serene spectacle is shown in ultraviolet light and highlights matter glowing at a temperature of about 50,000 Kelvin. Each second in the above time lapse video takes about 6 minutes in real time, so that the entire coronal rain sequence lasted about 10 hours."


WoFat said...

A Coronal Mass Ejection. Sounds like something you might get in a really expensive place on Patpong Road, in Bangkok.

sig94 said...

WoFat - What Happens in Bangkok Stays in Bangkok.

Kid said...

I Love coronal mass ejections.

But yea Sig, fascinating stuff. I get my daily fix here.

It's good to look at the big picture from time to time. More often when racist, anti-American, imbecilic muslim activists occupy the white house.

Doom said...

Can you imagine the umbrella you would need for THAT rain? :p

I had thought about saying something else but WoFat and Sig covered it. Although... ten hours would be a record, no doubt.

sig94 said...

Kid - After something like that you just have to sit back and enjoy a good smoke.

sig94 said...

Doom - I don't think the Sun was even trying.