Third Flare in Three Days
June 28, 2012
An M9.3 flare (fairly strong-sized) along with a coronal mass ejection (CME) blasted out from the Sun and headed in the general direction of Earth (Aug. 4, 2011). This was the third flare in three days from Active Region 1261. The still shows the characteristic spreading of light caused by the brightness of the flare as observed in extreme ultraviolet light. But, the CME can be seen distinctly as a darker cloud lifting off and rising up and out into space, something we usually do not get to see so clearly. The movie covers about four hours of activity. It is predicted that the particle cloud will impact Earth in a few days, when it will likely generate bright auroras as far south as Pennsylvania and could possibly upset electronic equipment, especially in space. The power of the storm is ranked as K-7 on a 1-9 scale. You can also watch the event in another wavelength (AIA304 in reddish-orange) of extreme UV light in which the CME appears more clearly, but the flare is not as obvious.
Topics: Space plasmas, Plasma physics, Astronomy, Forbush decrease, Extreme ultraviolet lithography, Coronal mass ejection, Solar flare, Aurora, Corona, Sun, Stars, Physics