February 20, 2009: Solar Storm, Stage Left
Hi-res TIF image(1.1M)
SOHO observed a nice-sized solar storm blast off to the left of the Sun (Feb. 18, 2009). The source of the explosion appears to have been from the far side of the Sun. The STEREO (Behind) spacecraft (which is currently 45 degrees behind Earth in its orbit around the Sun, and so is able to see 45 degrees farther around the Sun's far side) did not detect anything unusual. In general, such explosions are fairly common, but with the Sun near the bottom of its 11-year activity cycle, we have not seen many such storms over the past two years. In this coronagraph, the Sun and some of its atmosphere is covered by an occulting disk so that we can see faint features in the surrounding corona. The white circle represents the size of the Sun.
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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