Space Watch: CME – Unusual solar event

Posted on December 9, 2011

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Last night, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) observed an unusual event on the sun: An erupting cloud of plasma was eclipsed by a dark magnetic filament.

The source of the explosion is a farside active region due to turn toward Earth in a few days. For now, though, the blast site lies just behind the sun’s eastern limb–perfectly situated for this rare kind of eclipse. Note the filament of relatively cool dark material snaking across the sun’s surface in the foreground. That filament partially blocks our view of hot plasma exploding behind it. By studying how the light of the explosion is filtered by the foreground material, SDO mission scientists might be able to learn something new about dark filaments on the sun. (SpaceWeather)

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