Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Watching the Sun Ripple

Or something to that effect. First, you have GOT to see this:

The video was taken at 12 second intervals up in the Extreme ultraviolet Imaging Telescope range (EIT range = 171 Angstrom wavelength) and shows two different solar flare events. Notice the Sun's magnetosphere and surface RIPPLE? It frikkin' shook the Sun! The Sun we are talking about: you can fit 1.3 million Earths inside it; it's 850,000 miles in diameter (compared to the Earth's 7,819 mile diameter). And yet you can see the Sun ripple from these two solar flares. Ripple! These "EIT" waves travel at about 1 million miles per hour and traverse the entire star. It looks like a James Cameron production.

The flares send out coronal mass ejections (CMEs), which are expected to hit earth around 1:25 AM EST on Thursday. So, gird your loins.

More from NASA.

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