June 28, 2012
An X1.6 flare (in the largest category) erupted (Jan. 27, 2012) along with a coronal mass ejection from the same active region that sent a cloud of particles towards Earth a few days earlier. Since the active region had rotated to the edge of the Sun, the eruption was observed nicely in profile. These images show a combination of two extreme ultraviolet imagers from SDO (AIA 171 and AIA 131). The movie covers about seven hours of activity. The impact of high-energy particles can be seen more clearly from SOHO's coronagraph here: http://soho.nascom.nasa.gov/pickoftheweek/old/03feb2012/ Earth experienced an S-1 radiation storm caused by the protons that must have originated in the northern latitudes but from an area that faced more towards Earth. The bright coils that emerge after the flare are called post coronal loops wherein the region's magnetic field is reorganizing itself. The AIA 131 movie is also available below.
Topics: Environment, Space plasmas, Plasma physics, Physics, light sources, Ejection, Coronal mass ejection, Geomagnetic storm, Solar flare, Corona, Sun, Astrophysics, Coronal loop, Astronomy, Planetary science