Solar Flare Captured by NASA in Stereo Images

By Cassie Ryan
Epoch Times Staff
Created: March 1, 2011 Last Updated: March 1, 2011
Related articles: Science » Space & Astronomy
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A New Solar Flare Erupts From the Sun
NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) has released new video footage of an impressive solar flare that erupted from the sun last week, Feb. 24, described as a “monster prominence.”

According to the SDO, the sun unleashed a rather large M 3.6 class flare and “blew out a gorgeous, waving mass of erupting plasma that swirled and twisted for 90 minutes.”

SDO’s hi-tech equipment, which includes two juxtaposed STEREO-satellites, captured the flare in extreme ultraviolet light. NASA scientists were able to focus in on the event to reveal “exquisite details,” with imagery transmitted every 24 seconds that create a sense of “seamless” motion.

Solar flares can trigger coronal mass ejections, when billion-ton clouds of plasma are violently ejected by the sun, often causing geomagnetic storms on Earth over ensuing days, which can disrupt satellite-based systems, cause blackouts, and Northern Lights displays.

This flare is the latest in a recent series of solar storms as the sun enters a more active phase of its current cycle, but scientists say this particular one was not directed at the Earth and will not produce a geomagnetic storm, according to AFP.


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