Coronal Mass Ejection with a Solar Wave (January 21, 2011)
Hi-res TIF image (1.5M)
When a Coronal Mass Ejection erupted (Jan. 13, 2011), it also triggered a wave of compressed plasma across a wide portion of the lowest reaches of the Sun's outer atmosphere, the corona. As seen in extreme UV light, after repeated bursts within the bright [white] magnetic active region, the compression wave races outward, leaving a dark area behind it. This outward propagating wave of compression, like a blast on an air horn, can travel across almost the entire surface of the Sun.
To generate enough force to travel such distances of hundreds of thousands of miles across the surface of the Sun suggests the enormous magnetic energy release that triggers such a storm in the first place.
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.