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Filament Eruption Creates 'Canyon of Fire' on the Sun

A magnetic filament of solar material erupted on the sun in late September, breaking the quiet conditions in a spectacular fashion. The 200,000 mile long filament ripped through the sun's atmosphere, the corona, leaving behind what looks like a canyon of fire. The glowing canyon traces the channel where magnetic fields held the filament aloft before the explosion. Visualizers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. combined two days of satellite data to create a short movie of this gigantic event on the sun.

In reality, the sun is not made of fire, but of something called plasma: particles so hot that their electrons have boiled off, creating a charged gas that is interwoven with magnetic fields.

These images were captured on Sept. 29-30, 2013, by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, which constantly observes the sun in a variety of wavelengths.

Different wavelengths help capture different aspect of events in the corona. The red images shown in the movie help highlight plasma at temperatures of 90,000° F and are good for observing filaments as they form and erupt. The yellow images, showing temperatures at 1,000,000° F, are useful for observing material coursing along the sun's magnetic field lines, seen in the movie as an arcade of loops across the area of the eruption. The browner images at the beginning of the movie show material at temperatures of 1,800,000° F, and it is here where the canyon of fire imagery is most obvious. By comparing this with the other colors, one sees that the two swirling ribbons moving farther away from each other are, in fact, the footprints of the giant magnetic field loops, which are growing and expanding as the filament pulls them upward.

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More information on this topic available at:
http://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/nasa-releases-movie-of-suns-canyon-of-fire/

Short video with music.  The image is a composite of SDO AIA 171 and 304, with the two wavelengths blended in the area of the canyon. Watch this video on the NASAexplorer YouTube channel.    Short video with music. The image is a composite of SDO AIA 171 and 304, with the two wavelengths blended in the area of the canyon.

Watch this video on the NASAexplorer YouTube channel.

For complete transcript, click here.
Duration: 2.3 minutes
Available formats:
  1920x1080 (29.97 fps) QT         2 GB
  1920x1080 (29.97 fps) QT         2 GB
  1920x1080 (29.97 fps) QT         421 MB
  1920x1080 (29.97 fps) MPEG-4   109 MB
  1280x720 (29.97 fps) QT         1 GB
  1280x720 (30 fps) QT         54 MB
  1280x720 (29.97 fps) QT         81 MB
  1280x720 (29.97 fps) WMV         74 MB
  960x540 (29.97 fps) MPEG-4   65 MB
  640x360 (29.97 fps) QT         63 MB
  640x360 (29.97 fps) MPEG-4   25 MB
  320x240 (29.97 fps) MPEG-4   13 MB
  4096x4096 TIFF         34 MB
  1920x1080 TIFF         5 MB
  320x180     PNG           92 KB
How to play our movies


SDO AIA 193 frames and 4k ProRes.    SDO AIA 193 frames and 4k ProRes.
Duration: 31.4 seconds
Available formats:
  4096x4096 QT         4 GB
  4096x4096 Frames
  4096x4096 TIFF         9 MB
How to play our movies


SDO AIA 171 frames and 4k ProRes    SDO AIA 171 frames and 4k ProRes
Duration: 32.3 seconds
Available formats:
  4096x4096 QT         4 GB
  4096x4096 Frames
  4096x4096 TIFF         9 MB
How to play our movies


SDO AIA 304 Frames and 4k ProRes    SDO AIA 304 Frames and 4k ProRes
Duration: 32.8 seconds
Available formats:
  4096x4096 QT         4 GB
  4096x4096 Frames
  4096x4096 TIFF         10 MB
How to play our movies

Short URL to This Page:http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?11379
Animation Number:11379
Completed:2013-10-16
Animator:Tom Bridgman (GST)
Video Editor:Scott Wiessinger (USRA)
Producer:Scott Wiessinger (USRA)
Writer:Karen Fox (ASI)
Platforms/Sensors/Data Sets:SDO/AIA/304 Filter
 SDO/AIA/193 Filter
 SDO/AIA/171 Filter
 SDO
Series:Narrated Movies
 SDO - Edited Features
 Goddard Shorts
Goddard TV Tape:G2013-089 -- Canyon of Fire on the Sun
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/SDO
 
Keywords:
SVS >> CME
SVS >> Coronal Mass Ejection
SVS >> HDTV
SVS >> Solar Ultraviolet
SVS >> Sun
SVS >> SDO
SVS >> Solar Dynamics Observatory
SVS >> Heliophysics
SVS >> Corona
 
 


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Many of our multimedia items use the GCMD keywords. These keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation:
Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 8.0.0.0.0

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