Pick of The Week
 
 

Poof! A non-CME event (November 18, 2004)


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Late on November 13, 2004, SOHO observed a non-event, that is a coronal mass ejection (CME) event that looked like it was going to occur but didn't. A huge, twisted system of loops of ionized gas begins to erupt from the Sun near a sunspot region but before the material even leaves the field of view, it reverses direction and falls back to the Sun again. The entire non-event lasted about 6 hours. Solar physicists call this phenomenon a flare surge. In such (non-)events, the magnetic energy released when the magnetic constraints on the loops are broken is insufficient to overcome the gravitational attraction of the Sun for the gas in the loops. So while we often focus on the big events that escape the Sun's gravity and can influence space weather at the earth or other planets, it is worthwhile to realize that lots of other solar activity is occurring as well.

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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 steele.hill@gsfc.nasa.gov.

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