Independence Day Solar Fireworks
On July 2, 2012, an M5.6 class solar flare erupted in the sun's southern hemisphere from large sunspot AR1515, peaking at 6:52 AM EDT.
From a different spot, but on that same day, the sun unleashed a coronal mass ejection (CME) that began at 4:36 AM EDT. Models from the NASA's Space Weather Center at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md, describe the CME at traveling at nearly 700 miles per second, but do not show it heading toward Earth.
This image shows four separate images of the M5.3 class flare from the morning of July 4, 2012. In clockwise order starting at the top left, the wavelengths shown are: 131, 94, 193, and 171 angstroms. Each wavelength shows a different temperature of material, which in turn corresponds to different levels of the sun's atmosphere. By looking at images in several wavelengths, scientists can track how a solar eruption moves through the layers. Credit: NASA/SDO/AIA/Helioviewer/TheSunToday
This image, captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory, shows the M5.3 class flare that peaked on July 4, 2012 at 5:55 AM EDT. It is shown in the 131 angstrom wavelength, a wavelength that is particularly good for capturing the radiation emitted from flares. The wavelength is typically colorized in teal as shown here. Credit: NASA/SDO/AIA/Helioviewer
Please give credit for this item to:NASA/SDO
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center