Incredible Images Of The Biggest Solar Flare For Many Years
Jun 7, 2011 - The Sun unleashed an M-2 (medium-sized) solar flare with a substantial coronal mass ejection (CME) on June 7 that is visually spectacular.
The large cloud of particles mushroomed up and fell back down looking as if it covered an area of almost half the solar surface.
SDO observed the flare's peak at 1:41 AM EST. SDO recorded these images in extreme ultraviolet light and they show a very large explosion 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 80,000K.
When viewed in SOHO's coronagraphs, the event shows bright plasma and high-energy particles roaring from the Sun. This Earth-directed CME is moving at 1400 km/s according to NASA models. Due to its angle, however, effects on Earth should be fairly small.
This not-squarely Earth-directed CME is moving at 1400 km/s according to NASA models. The CME should deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field during the late hours of June 8th or June 9th. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras when the CME arrives.
All of the solar Heliophysics System Observatory missions captured the event.
When viewed in Solar and Heliospheric Observatory's (SOHO) coronagraphs, the event shows bright plasma and high-energy particles roaring from the Sun.
Video from the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) in 304 Angstrom of the June 7, 2011 M-2 Flare and CME. Credit: NASA/SDO