A Cluster of M-class solar flares from Active Region 13165
Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) operates in a geosynchronous orbit around Earth to obtain a continuous view of the Sun. The particular instrument in this visualization records imagery in the ultraviolet portion of the spectrum at wavelengths normally absorbed by Earth's atmosphere - so we need to observe them from space.
Here, Active Region 13165 (lower right of solar disk) fires of a cluster of M-class flares over a couple of days in mid-December 2022 (Solar Flares: What does it take to be X-class?). The point-spread function correction (PSF) has been applied to all the imagery on this page. An M6.3 flare erupts followed shortly by a smaller M3.2 flare.
The double flare event (M6.3 & M 3.2) of December 14, 2022 as seen in the SDO AIA 131 angstrom filter. The dark region around the central 'X' marking the flare is an artifact of the PSF correction. 'Flickering' in the images around the flare are created due to the 'flare mode' images which have a shorter exposure. Normalizing the solar disk to the same brightness in these frames enhances the background noise off the solar disk.
The next day, December 15, 2022, an M5.7 flare erupts from the same active region.
In these examples of smaller flares, the flare is much more visible in the AIA 131 angstrom filter. However, in the 171 angstrom filter, the complex loop structure in the magnetic fields is more obvious
. The 304 angstrom filter shows the flows of gas filaments
What is the PSF (Point Spread-Function)?Many telescopes, especially reflecting telescopes such as the ones used on SDO (Wikipedia), have internal structures that support various optical components. These components can result in incoming light being scattered to other parts of the image. This can appear in the image as a faint haze, brightening dark areas and dimming bright areas. The point-spread function (Wikipedia) is a measure of how light that would normally be received by a single camera pixel, gets scattered onto other pixels. This is often seen as the "spikes" seen in images of bright stars. For SDO, it manifests as a double-X shape centered over a bright flare (see Sun Emits Third Solar Flare in Two Days). The effect of this scattered light can be computed, and removed, by a process called deconvolution (Wikipedia). This is often a very compute-intensive process which can be sped up by using a computers graphics-processing unit (GPU) for the computation.
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MissionsThis visualization is related to the following missions:
Datasets used in this visualization
SDO AIA 304 (304 Filter)ID: 677Collected with AIA JOINT SCIENCE OPERATIONS CENTER 2022-12-14T14:00:00 to 2022-12-14T18:00:00 and 2022-12-15T21:30:00 to 2022-12-16T01:30:00
SDO AIA 171 (171 Filter)ID: 680Collected with AIA JOINT SCIENCE OPERATIONS CENTER 2022-12-14T14:00:00 to 2022-12-14T18:00:00 and 2022-12-15T21:30:00 to 2022-12-16T01:30:00
SDO AIA 131 (131 Filter)ID: 730Collected with AIA JOINT SCIENCE OPERATIONS CENTER 2022-12-14T14:00:00 to 2022-12-14T18:00:00 and 2022-12-15T21:30:00 to 2022-12-16T01:30:00
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.