Archive for the ‘Solar Activity’ Category

A mushroom of cooled plasma popped like a pimple and rained onto the surface of the sun yesterday—shooting perhaps the largest amount of solar material into space ever seen, scientists say.

(Watch a video of the solar flare.)

The solar flare—an unusually bright spot on the sun—wasn’t surprising as a “moderate” event. Space observatories in the past year recorded about 70 such solar flares, each roughly ten times weaker than “extreme” flares, of which only two have occurred since 2007.

(Related: “Biggest Solar Flare in Years—Auroras to Be Widespread Tonight?”)

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The sun emitted a “spectacular” solar flare on Tuesday, June 07.  The flare peaked at 1:41 a.m. ET, according to NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO).

The flare is moving away from the sun at 1400 km/s.  Although it’s not squarely aimed at the earth, it should deliver a “glancing blow to the Earth’s magnetic field” during the late hours of June 8th or on June 9th.

The earth is 150 million km away from the sun.

This means the solar storm could disrupt power grids, satellites, and may cause the rerouting of some flights away from the Polar Regions, said Bill Murtagh of National Weather Service, reported AFP.

NASA said the solar flare covered an area almost half the solar surface upon eruption.

The sun has magnetic areas on its surface that are visually dark because the magnetic fields allow the areas to cool.  These areas are called sunspots and can be larger than the size of the earth.  Groups of sunspots sometimes spawn solar flares, or radiation eruptions that go out into the space. They are our solar system’s largest explosive events, according to NASA.

Below are one video and one photo of the unusual solar flare that occurred on June 07.