Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Aten temper tantrum: Sliding Plasma and a CME (February 5, 2010)

The STEREO (Behind) spacecraft could see streams of plasma sliding along magnetic field lines above a sputtering active region (Jan. 26-29, 2010). The dynamic streams were just over the Sun's edge and readily spotted as the Sun rotated them more into view. Then it gets more interesting. About mid-way through the clip, a small coronal mass ejection (CME) shoots out and into space at about a million miles per hour, carrying some magnetic field with it. Most CMEs are more bulbous and wide: this one is quite narrow and contained. Nonetheless, our solar scientists agree that its speed and characteristics suggest that it was indeed a non-typical CME.
Source: NASA website.
Check out the movie here
It is spectacular