Sun  ID: 11078

Class Act

In August 2012, a long filament of solar material coalesced in the sun's atmosphere. For several days it was visible, appearing from Earth's viewpoint to curl up and over the left side of the sun. Scientists estimate its length was approximately 186,000 miles, equivalent to 30 Earths placed side by side. On August 31 at 4:36 p.m. EDT, the filament expanded and erupted, releasing particles into space at speeds of 900 miles per second. The ejected material did not head directly toward Earth, though some of it did glance off the planet's magnetic environment, or magnetosphere, causing aurora to appear on the night of Monday, September 3. The video shows the eruption—a particularly gorgeous one, even for veteran observers of the sun—as seen by three NASA spacecraft.
 

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NASA.gov


Story Credits

Visualizer/Animator:
Tom Bridgman (GST)

Producer:
Scott Wiessinger (USRA)

Writer:
Karen Fox (ASI)

Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
Aurora photo courtesy of David Cartier, Sr.

Short URL to share this page:
http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/11078

Keywords:
SVS >> App
NASA Science >> Sun