Peeking at Solar Loops Up Close (September 14, 2007)
With their 2048 x 2048 frame size and images as often as every 2.5 minutes, STEREO images in the extreme ultraviolet wavelength provides us with the opportunity to pick out any part of the Sun and zoom in for a much closer look. We picked out one active region (September 6, 2007) and magnified our view of that area 10 times from the image showing the entire Sun. Even with a full screen view of the original frame, details of this active region are difficult to discern. But, the close-up still and the movie frames reveal subtle details of lighter loops of plasma arcing and slowly changing above this active region. These trace the magnetic field lines that rise out, above, and connect back into the solar surface. The looping patterns shift and sway over this 15 hours period, but do not generate any solar storms.
When the Solar Dynamics Observatory launches and begin operations in about year or so, it will offer much faster frame rates and even more detailed images of the Sun. (For more STEREO image and movies, go here: http://stereo.gsfc.nasa.gov/)
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.