May 14, 2013

Three X-class Solar Flares seen by Two Spacecrafts

A look at the three X-class solar flares through two different instruments on two different spacecrafts.

The “green” Sun is seen through the AIA instrument at 131 angstroms. This channel sees very hot temperatures, at approx. 18 million F, and is great to study solar flares.

The “red” view is from NASA/ESA’s LASCO C2 instrument and shows us the outer region and how the ejected plasma (called a Coronal Mass Ejection or CME) is traveling away from the Sun.

As you can see these three flares occurred to the left of the Sun and the CME is not traveling towards Earth. No planets are in the way of this fast traveling CME. However, the CMEs appear to be on course to hit NASA’s Epoxi and Spitzer spacecrafts on May 15-16.

Credit: NASA SDO / NASA/ESA SOHO

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