Sun  ID: 11198

Raindrops Falling On The Sun

On July 19, 2012, million-degree plasma in the sun's atmosphere began to cool and fall to the surface, resulting in a dazzling magnetic display known as coronal rain. Because the plasma is charged, it's strongly influenced by the sun's magnetic field. As it rained down, it condensed along twisted magnetic field lines close to the surface and formed giant streaming arcs, some as tall as five Earths stacked high. An ultra high-definition telescope aboard NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) captured images of the display, which lasted hours and was initiated by two eruptive events on the sun: a solar flare and coronal mass ejection. Scientists used a 304-angstrom-wavelength filter to see the plasma downpour. Watch the video to see it for yourself.

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Story Credits

Tom Bridgman (Global Science and Technology, Inc.)
Scott Wiessinger (USRA)

Video Editor:
Scott Wiessinger (USRA)

Scott Wiessinger (USRA)

Lead Scientist:
C. Alex Young (ADNET)

Lead Writer:
Karen Fox (ADNET Systems, Inc.)

Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
Video and images courtesy of NASA/GSFC/SDO

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