Your "Average" CME (March 11, 2004)
Hi-res TIF image (3.9M)
Over a 32-hour period (March 7-8, 2004), SOHO observed a coronal mass
ejection (CME) as it erupted from the Sun. This event was an
"average" CME that headed down and to the left, a direction that
probably would not generate Earth effects. Interestingly, it seems
to hold its shape together from where one is first discerned through
to the edge of the field of view. The bright object in the same area
as the CME and slowly moving to the left is Mercury as it passes in
its orbital path behind the Sun. Because Mercury is the closest
planet to the Sun and moves in a tighter orbit than Earth, from our
perspective it never strays too far from the Sun.
The CME can be seen in the video clip taken by the LASCO C3 instrument. The Sun (represented by the white circle in the center) is blocked out by an occulting disk so that the instrument can observe activity in the faint corona.
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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.
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.