There is no better reminder that we’re in orbit around a star than to witness a spectacular loop such as what was captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory on 29th September.
Associated with sunspots and active regions on the sun, regions where the powerful solar magnetosphere breaches the solar photosphere (the sun’s “surface”), the loops or arches are formed when the super-heated plasma from the solar interior follows these magnetic field lines.
Observed in the Extreme Ultraviolet region of the spectrum at 171 Angstroms (17.1 nanometers – nm), those aspects of the sun that are visible have a minimum temperature of 200,000 Kelvin (359,540 F)!
Public access to the Solar Dynamics Observatory and other solar observation portals are available at Heloviewer and, of course, the Solar Dynamics Observatory public website. Both portals offer a broad range of access and viewing options.
24 hour video of the sun beginning at 10 hours UTC, 28 September as observed by the Solar Dynamics Observatory in the light of Extreme Ultraviolet. The Solar Coronal Loop event occurs approximately 17 hours later on 29 September at 3 hours UTC.
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All our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike-and yet it is the most precious thing we have
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