Pick of The Week
 
 

A Fine Blossoming (February 10, 2003)


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  • During a day long period from 2 - 3 February 2003, no less than three CMEs blossomed away from the Sun from what appear to be two different sources. What makes the video clip of these storms so impressive is the fine details of movement that the LASCO C2 instrument was able to observe. What accounts for this? Because SOHO is controlled with daily commands from Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, and some other instruments were taking a necessary break, solar scientists directed it to take advantage of an opportunity to use more signal bandwith: it took an image an average of every 7.5 minutes, about twice its usual cadence. So for the 28 hours shown in the clip, we get to use 200 frames shown here at 15 frames a second. The graceful outpouring of charged particles along barely perceptible structural lines is ballet-like . Yet, we must remember the scope and power this represents: billions of tons of matter blasting at over a million miles (1.6 million km) per hour.

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    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.

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