Towering Coils

This video clip covers about 36 hours of Solar activity as seen by the Solar Dynamics Observatory in January, 2014.  A large active region sported tall coils of magnetic field lines that stretched many times the size of Earth above the Sun. When viewed in extreme ultraviolet light, the field lines are revealed as particles move along them. Some lines connect with another active region that has rotated out of view. This close-up also shows darker, cooler plasma just above the surface being tugged back and forth by magnetic forces.

Video Credit: NASA

A Hole on the Sun

coronalholeThe Solar Dynamics Observatory took these images of a large coronal hole on the Sun last week. Coronal holes are the source of a high-speed wind of solar particles that streams off the Sun some three times faster than the normal solar wind. It’s not clear what causes coronal holes, but they correlate to areas on the Sun where magnetic fields flow away from the surface without looping back as they do elsewhere.

Image Credit: NASA

5 Years of the Sun

The Solar Dynamics Observatory was launched five years ago yesterday. This time-lapse video was assembled from SDO data from in June, 2010, until last week. The data rate is three frames per day. The different colors represent the different wavelengths used by SDO to observe the Sun.


Video Credit: NASA