Tuesday, 1 July 2014

NASA Releases Stunningly Colorized Photograph of Our Sun

NASA's SDO (Solar Dynamics Observatory) has just released this stunning, painterly image of the Sun. The Solar Dynamics observatory was designed to assist us to know about the Sun's influence on Earth and near-Earth space by studying the solar atmosphere. In this lovely image, NASA's sun-gazing spacecraft spotted an unusual series of eruptions, forced by fast "puffs" from the Sun's outermost atmosphere (the corona), to interplanetary space. It starts on January 17, 2013, the puffs took place about once every 3 hours, and then after twelve hours, larger eruptions occurred.

Nathalia Alzate a solar scientist at the University of Aberystwyth in Wales said; if you look at the corona in intense ultraviolet light we can review the source of the puffs is a series of energetic jets and related flares. The jets are localized, disastrous releases of energy that spew material out from the sun into space. These swift changes in the magnetic field cause flares, which release an enormous amount of energy in a very limited time in the form of super-heated plasma, high-energy radiation and radio bursts. The large, slow structure is unwilling to erupt, and does not originate to smoothly propagate outwards until numerous jets have occurred. 

We still need some time to evaluate whether these’re shock waves, formed by the jets, passing through and driving the slow eruption, or whether magnetic reconfiguration is driving the jets letting the bigger, slow structure to slowly erupt. Many thanks to latest advances in observation and in photo processing techniques we can throw light on the way jets can lead to small and fast, or big and slow, eruptions from the Sun. She continues; this spectacular photograph is a combination of three wavelengths of light. It shows one of the multiple jets that led to a series of slow coronal puffs. The striking photo has been colorized in red, green and blue.

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