The Steady Solar Wind (Aug 29, 2008)
Although it is not well-known to most people, the outpouring of particles called the solar wind is a part of the Sun's activity. Over a five-day period (August 22-27, 2008), with SOHO's LASCO coronagraph instrument we can observe the faint solar wind quietly but steadily streaming out into space from all areas of the Sun. Its motion is most apparent along the streamers (large magnetic structures seen in the Sun's corona) pointing outwards at the two, three, and nine o'clock positions. Solar wind, primarily electrons and protons, flows outward at speeds as high as 900 km/s. It is essentially the hot solar corona expanding into interplanetary and interstellar space. With the solar activity level near its lowest level of the solar cycle, it is a little easier to spot the solar wind.
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.