Smoke Ring CME (February 1, 2008)
Hi-res TIF image (774K)
The Sun blew out a coronal mass ejection (CME) that resembled an almost perfectly shaped smoke ring (January 28-29, 2008). This was captured by SOHO's C2 coronagraph instrument. As solar storms go, this one was on the small side and we do not get to see many of them even, because the Sun is near its minimum level of activity in its 11-year cycle. Still, there was some streaming of particles to the upper left and then the nice ring that smoothly and steadily spread out to the right. While not unheard of, some years have passed since SOHO has observed such a well-shaped ring. (The white circle represents the size of the Sun and some area around it being blocked by the red occulting disk to reveal the faint details of the Sun's corona.)
SOHO began its Weekly Pick some time after sending a weekly image or video clip to the American Museum of Natural History (Rose Center) in New York City. There, the SOHO Weekly Pick is displayed with some annotations on a large plasma display.
If your institution would also like to receive the same Weekly Pick from us for display (usually in Photoshop or QuickTime format), please send your inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.