Rolling Thunder (November 22, 2006)
Hi-res TIF image(2.4M)
A series of coronal mass ejections (CMEs) roared out from the Sun over a 33-hour period (November 20 - 21, 2006), a stormy level of activity that has not been seen in many months. These were determined to have originated on the far side of the Sun so there will be no effects felt here at Earth. The still from the strongest of the three to four blasts shows a CME's traditional bulbous arc extending out from the Sun with a much brighter and smaller interior mass, that appears much like an incandescent bulb.
CMEs are often triggered by breaks in the tangle of magnetic field lines that contend for control of the Sun's surface regions. And they are extremely large: the billion-ton cloud of released particles shoots out at speeds of 1 - 2 million miles per hour. We shall see if the active region that released these storms will continue to do so when it rotates around to where it will be facing Earth in about two weeks.
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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