Video of the coronal plasma rain on the Sun that we reported on earlier has now been released by NASA. The amazing video shows the event throughout its formation and duration, it’s awesome. There is a very wide variation in the types of eruptive events that occur on the Sun, even if you’ve already watched videos of solar eruptions before this one stands out.
“On July 19, 2012, an eruption occurred on the sun that produced all three. A moderately powerful solar flare exploded on the sun’s lower right limb, sending out light and radiation. Next came a CME, which shot off to the right out into space. And then, the sun treated viewers to one of its dazzling magnetic displays – a phenomenon known as coronal rain.”
“Over the course of the next day, hot plasma in the corona cooled and condensed along strong magnetic fields in the region. Magnetic fields, themselves, are invisible, but the charged plasma is forced to move along the lines, showing up brightly in the extreme ultraviolet wavelength of 304 Angstroms, which highlights material at a temperature of about 50,000 Kelvin. This plasma acts as a tracer, helping scientists watch the dance of magnetic fields on the sun, outlining the fields as it slowly falls back to the solar surface.”
The film was gathered by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory’s Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) instrument. “SDO collected one frame every 12 seconds, and the movie plays at 30 frames per second, so each second in this video corresponds to six minutes of real time. The video covers 12:30 a.m. EDT to 10:00 p.m. EDT on July 19, 2012.”
The best part of the video is watching how the magnetic lines gather and direct the Sun’s energy in those twisting patterns. Very cool.
Image Credits: NASA/SDO