Sun  ID: 4027

A July 2012 CME from SDO

On July 18, 2012, a fairly small explosion of light burst off the lower right limb of the sun. Such flares often come with an associated eruption of solar material, known as a coronal mass ejection or CME — but this one did not. Something interesting did happen, however. Magnetic field lines in this area of the sun's atmosphere, the corona, began to twist and kink, generating the hottest solar material — a charged gas called plasma — to trace out the newly-formed slinky shape. The plasma glowed brightly in extreme ultraviolet images from the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) aboard NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) and scientists were able to watch for the first time the very formation of something they had long theorized was at the heart of many eruptive events on the sun: a flux rope.

Eight hours later, on July 19, the same region flared again. This time the flux rope's connection to the sun was severed, and the magnetic fields escaped into space, dragging billions of tons of solar material along for the ride — a classic CME.

 

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Visualization Credits

Tom Bridgman (GST): Lead Animator
Scott Wiessinger (USRA): Producer
Angelos Vourlidas (NRL): Scientist
Karen Fox (ASI): Writer
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio, the SDO Science Team, and the Virtual Solar Observatory.

Short URL to share this page:
http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/4027

Mission:
SDO

Data Used:
SDO/AIA/171 Filter 2012-07-18T21:30 - 2017-07-19T09:00
SDO/AIA/131 Filter 2012-07-18T21:30 - 2017-07-19T09:00
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

This item is part of this series:
Solar Dynamics Observatory: Year 3

Keywords:
SVS >> HDTV
SVS >> Solar Wind
SVS >> Sun
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Sun-earth Interactions
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Sun-earth Interactions >> Solar Activity >> Solar Flares
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Sun-earth Interactions >> Solar Activity >> Solar Ultraviolet
SVS >> Space Weather
SVS >> Hyperwall
SVS >> SDO
SVS >> Solar Dynamics Observatory
SVS >> Heliophysics
SVS >> Corona
NASA Science >> Sun
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Sun-earth Interactions >> Solar Activity >> Coronal Mass Ejections

GCMD 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