An Inside View of a Coronal Mass Ejection

In September, 2022, the Parker Solar Probe flew through one of the most powerful coronal mass ejections (CMEs) ever recorded. Parker’s data gathering while in the CME is providing information about the interaction of CMEs with interplanetary dust, with implications for space weather predictions.The spacecraft Parker Solar Probe watched the CME clearing the dust out of its path. The interaction between the CME and dust shows up as decreased brightness in images from Parker’s Wide-field Imager for Solar Probe (WISPR) camera because interplanetary dust reflects light, amplifying brightness where the dust is present.

Image Credit: NASA

A Dark Outburst

The Solar Dynamics Observatory watched as a “dark” clump of plasma rose up above the Sun, twisted and spun about, and then broke away and dissipated earlier this week. This video shows how the plasma was thrown around by the Sun’s magnetic field before it was pushed into space by a coronal mass ejection. The large, bright loops emerging from the Sun north of the small mass trace magnetic field lines. The images in the video were taken in a wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light that reveals ionized iron heated to a million degrees.

Video Credit: NASA