Pick of The Week
 
 

CMEs Reaching Out (July 29, 2005)


Hi-res TIF image (2.7M)

Movies:
MPEG: Large (3.9M), Small (565K)
Quicktime: Large (1.3M), Small (176K)

A very unstable active region on the far side of the Sun has spouted off about 10 coronal mass ejections (CMEs) over the past week (July 22-29, 2005) and it is about to rotate into view. Like a giant stretching out his arms, this image shows one of the largest CMEs on July 27 heading off to the left side of the Sun, while another CME from a different active region was blasting off to the right. The movie shows the one day's activity.

It is difficult to grasp the scope of these storms. The Sun is represented in this C3 coronagraph image by the white circle atop the dark blue occulting disk that allows us to see activity in the faint corona. One can easily see that the CMEs can expand to several times the size of the Sun in less than an hour or two. They launch billions of tons of matter at millions of miles per hour. Neither of these storms were directed towards Earth so no effects from these storms will be felt here at Earth. But when the strong active region rotates towards us in about a week, we may well be in for some new opportunities to see the aurorae that result when a CME impacts the Earth's magnetosphere.

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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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