CME with a Bonus (May 27, 2011)
Hi-res TIF image (2.6M)
The Sun unleashed a good-sized coronal mass ejection (CME) that roared out into space (May 20-21, 2011) as the STEREO (Ahead) spacecraft observed. Soon after, as a bonus visual, a sun-grazing comet came streaking in (from the right) heading for the Sun. Its tail could be seen elongating substantially as it approached the Sun and apparently disintegrated. Judging by its trajectory, this comet likely belonged to the Kreutz family of comets, the residual pieces of a much larger comet that broke up long ago. The Sun (represented by a white circle) is blocked out by an occulting disk (central red circle) so that fainter structures can be seen in the Sun's outer corona.
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.