Pick of The Week
 
 

Blowing Off Some Steam? (August 22, 2003)


Hi-res TIF image (4.0M)

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Quicktime: Large (171K), Small (171K)

Over a two-day period (Aug. 18-19, 2003, SOHO observed two good-sized coronal mass ejections (CMEs) as they erupted from the Sun. The first was a wide partial halo CME (meaning it expanded in a wide arc but not all the way around the Sun) that moved away from the Sun at a fairly slow rate. Though there was no obvious source observed for it on the Sun's front side, scientists concluded it likely occurred on the visible hemisphere. And strong space weather effects were experienced here at Earth about two to three days later (about the average time it takes for the particle cloud to reach us). The second event was a narrower CME heading off to the right, which probably would not generate Earth effects.

Both of the CMEs 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.

Note also that Venus is continuing its orbital passage behind the Sun (right to left) and Jupiter is crossing behind the Sun as well (left to right).

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Previous Picks of the Week

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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