June 28, 2012
On June 7, 2011 the Sun unleashed an M-2 (medium-sized) solar flare (white flash in the first image) with a spectacular coronal mass ejection (CME, which is the darker material). The large cloud of particles mushroomed up and fell back down looking as if it covered an area almost half the solar surface. We took three stills of the event that cover just 30 minutes of activity to give a sense of the event's progression in stages. SDO recorded these images in extreme ultraviolet light that show a very large eruption of cool gas. It is somewhat unique because at many places in the eruption there seems to be even cooler material -- at temperatures less than 80,000 K.
Topics: Environment, Technology Internet, Volcanology, Space plasmas, Plasma physics, cool gas, Coronal mass ejection, Types of volcanic eruptions, Volcanic ash, Igneous rocks, Solar flare, Volcano, Corona, Plate tectonics, Sun