Sun  ID: 4026

July 2012: Coronal Rain

A moderate solar flare was emitted by the sun on July 19, 2012. At 5:58 UTC it peaked at M7.7 on the flare scale, which makes it fairly powerful, but still much weaker than X-class flares, which are the largest. What made this particular event so noteworthy was the associated activity in the sun's corona. For the next day, hot plasma in corona cooled and condensed along the strong magnetic fields of the region that produced the flare. Magnetic fields are invisible, but the plasma is very obvious in the extreme ultraviolet wavelength of 304 angstroms, which highlights material at a temperature of about 50,000 Kelvin. This plasma is attracted to the magnetic fields and outlines them very clearly as it slowly falls back to the solar surface. This process of condensing plasma falling to the surface is called coronal rain.

The footage in this video was collected by the Solar Dynamics Observatory's AIA instrument. SDO collected one frame every 12 seconds so each second in this video corresponds to 6 minutes of real time. The video covers 4:30 UTC on July 19th to 2:00 UTC on July 20th, a period of 21 hours and 30 minutes.

Music—"Thunderbolt" by Lars Leonhard



Visualization Credits

Tom Bridgman (Global Science and Technology, Inc.): Lead Animator
Scott Wiessinger (USRA): Producer
Karen Fox (ADNET Systems, Inc.): 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.

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Data Used:
SDO/AIA/304 Filter also referred to as: AIA 304
JOINT SCIENCE OPERATIONS CENTER - 2012-07-19T04:30 - 2012-07-20T02:00
SDO/AIA/171 Filter also referred to as: AIA 171
JOINT SCIENCE OPERATIONS CENTER - 2012-07-19T04:00 - 2012-7-19T06:00
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

SVS >> Solar Wind
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 >> Solar Dynamics Observatory
SVS >> Heliophysics
SVS >> Corona
NASA Science >> Sun
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Sun-earth Interactions >> Solar Activity >> Coronal Mass Ejections
SVS >> Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging
SVS >> EUV Imaging

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