Pick of The Week
 
 

Three Hours, Two CMEs, One Good Show (January 22, 2003)

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Quicktime Movie (1.7M), small (316K)

In a compact time frame of about three hours on 20 January 2003, SOHO observed two coronal mass ejections (CMEs), both of which appear to have derived from eruptive prominences, called filaments if seen against the Sun. Both events are shown in the same video clip in the extreme ultraviolet wavelength of EIT 195. The first filament (labeled one in the still) seems to gather some energy near the its right end as it begins to lift up and break away at about 17:00 UT, leaving behind a long half-pipe of bright loops, thought to be the telltale signs of the reconnection of magnetic fields ripped open by the CME. The second, more substantial lift-off occurs more quickly over on the left side of the Sun where, again, an elongated filament erupts and quickly breaks away from the Sun at about 20:48 UT. Many CMEs are associated with erupting prominences, but it is a rarity to capture them so close together in time.

Both of the CMEs can be seen in the video clip taken by the LASCO C3 instrument for a similar time period, somewhat overlapping. As of 7:00 UT the following day, the second CME is still seen expanding in the instrument's field of view of 30 solar radii.

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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