Blowing Off Some Steam? (August 22, 2003)
Hi-res TIF image (4.0M)
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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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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