CME Funnel (June 22, 2005)
Hi-res TIF image (4.3M)
In less than a 24-hour period (June 20, 2005), SOHO observed a pair of coronal mass ejections (CMEs) as they erupted in opposite directions from the Sun. These events were not powerful CMEs nor were they headed in a direction that would likely generate Earth effects. The still shows the first CME which appears to shape a funnel-like opening at its head as it expands out towards the frame's edge, just as the other CME is beginning to emerge in a much more compact fashion. Some scientists believe the funnel-like shape is evidence for the Sun's expulsion of loops of magnetic flux. And small or not, CMEs carry more than a billion tons of matter into space at millions of miles per hour.
Both 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. |
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